Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Could the Vita be the PS4's controller?


Taking a cue from Nintendo and the Wii U with its tablet controller, and given that the Vita already has limited control over the PS3 via Cross Play and Remote Play, what are the chances of Sony's new handheld being an official controller for the PS4?

That's an interesting avenue to investigate with several key possibilities. For a start, I'm happy to lose the vibration effects - they've never really added much and all the cute tricks with them (heartbeats, alerts and blast effects have been done to death) and unless the pack-in PS4 controller has haptic skin or another feedback mechanism, there aren't many advances it can make on its own.

With a Vita as a controller though, you get a second screen for a host of options that would make role-playing games and real-time or turn-based strategy games a whole lot more "roley" and "strategyey" (I suppose I mean PC-like) on the console.

The one problem is that developers will have to add an extra bundle of code for all of this support and there's no guarantee that all PS4 owners will have a Vita (I don't own a PS3, but loved my PSP and now my Vita). There's also the lack of a pair of triggers (although the Vita can add virtual ones on the screen).

Hopefully Sony will insist all first party developers have some degree of integration and, if it takes off, then Sony can start bundling PS4s and Vitas in a mega deal. Ideally, for suitable games, I'd love a multiplayer co-op feature where one player is the strategic "eyes" via the Vita (sniper pairs, Predator drone view, tank commander and map overwatch modes are just a few of obvious ones).

So, would you be keen on a Vita PS4 combo, or do you think the two should be kept well apart?

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