Okay, we're not quite out of winter yet, but there are some snowdrops blooming, among the ice and flakes on the ground across much of the UK. Another strange sign of life came when I peeked at the PS Store app last night on my Vita and it looked wrong.
Update: Recent visual issues seem to have been resolved.
With no updates for about 10 months, it took me a few seconds to realise that the Latest tab had somehow exploded back into action, with 20+ Vita releases from 2020 now in place. After I tweeted the news, I went to bed and had a good sleep. When I woke up I was honestly thinking it was all part of some weird dream, so I checked again - and it is all real! Also, my phone was burbling with notifications and replies!
A few games are missing icons, but most games seem to be there, saving people having to go through searching. (Note, Xeno Crisis and Ganbare are still AWOL, but are there if you search, I'm checking for more.)
|Sometime Saturday evening, someone at Sony did something good!|
From the overnight replies, it became apparent that this stretches beyond the UK, with the store page in Japan, New Zealand and other territories coming back to life. I think the US store has been semi-regularly updated, but my US Vita is jailbroken and I don't like to check too often in case Sony gets grumpy.
|From a Japanese tweeter, and they were just as excited as I was!|
Part of me wants to go "yay, Sony - thanks for that!" but most of me is going, "how hard would it have to do your job properly, supporting the developers still rolling out Vita games?" Of course, the next question is why has Sony bothered? Is this a last update before things start going dark as they march on with the PS4/5-only store?
Will they update the Vita store again to support the last games coming out in 2021? Is there some budget retro-Vita on the way that could make use of the 1,000+ games across the PS1, PSP and Vita pages? Perhaps some official Android emulator that links into the original store? Probably not, but it seems odd for Sony to make this effort without some future-thinking reason, rather than being nice after we've moaned at them for almost a year.
What's most joyous about this little experience is that I thought I was one of the few people on the planet who really cared. Its great to see the response to the original tweet, practically trending in Vita terms and likely my most popular ever. And to find the ever-growing latter-day Vita community taking an interest is cool - hello new followers!
Here's hoping for a few more bits of good news across 2021 as card production for physical games is supposed to end, and Sony moves on to whatever comes next.