I’ve unexpectedly found new life for my PS Vita this year – as an extra PS4 controller.
One of the Vita’s cool features is its “PS4 Link: Remote Play,” which allows you to stream PS4 games. You can take further advantage of this feature with certain PS4 games that are compatible with the Vita as a controller.
No need to buy an extra controller
I discovered the Vita’s potential as an extra controller after multiplayer PS4 sessions with friends. Having four players but only three PS4 controllers, one player always had to sit out. Taking turns at Overcooked and Towerfall was no problem, but when it came to our favorite game Helldivers, it was a pity since fewer players meant we couldn’t tackle harder co-op missions. Buying another controller would cost a bomb (US$50 and up), but it turned out we didn’t have to!
I tested the Vita on all three games above.
It works just fine, especially with Overcooked. During Towerfall, my thumb hurt a little on the left stick, but using the Vita was comfortable otherwise. Now, with Helldivers, I had to do back-touchpad swipes in substitute of the PS4’s L2/R2 buttons. That meant accidentally throwing a grenade at my comrades sometimes, or having trouble reloading my gun. If only I could reconfigure those buttons to the front touchscreen instead… But it just takes getting used to.
So my Vita isn’t at the end of its life just yet! In fact, this experience has made me feel like revisiting Vita games.
And while researching these issues, I discovered that Helldivers not only has a Vita port but is also cross-buy, cross-platform, and cross-save! You may already know these terms, but for those who don’t, this should come in handy:
Cross-buy: Buying the game for one platform (e.g. PS Vita) entitles you to a free digital copy for another platform (e.g. PS4). Stardew Valley is an example, but note that cross-buy for this game only applies to the Vita and PS4, not other platforms such as PC and Switch. Furthermore, the Vita version of Stardew Valley will not receive a multiplayer feature.
Cross-platform/cross-play: You can play multiplayer games with players using a different platform from yours. Terraria used to be an example of cross-play, in which Vita, PS3, and PS4 players could join the same multiplayer session. However, that ceased to be possible after the PS4 version received an update which the Vita did not.
Cross-save: You can transfer save data from one platform to another, over an Internet connection. Final Fantasy X HD Remaster is an example of a cross-save game, but note that it is not cross-buy!
Useful links (The lists are non-exhaustive):
- Guide to setting up Remote Play
- Remote Play Vita-compatible games
- Cross-buy PS games
- Cross-platform PS games
- Cross-save PS games