Up until now I haven’t done any “hardware” reviews. Usually when new consoles arrive those big gaming media publications will review them and I always found those quite pointless. I mean, the most important thing about a console it’s the games you’ll be playing on it and certainly the launch lineup isn’t a good indication on the years to come.
This however isn’t a review on a console but more of an accessory for a console and my experience with it during the last couple weeks is more or less as good as it’s gonna get so… let’s start.
There’s this practice that seems to be quite extended among the people you find on the internet forums that is using the Vita as a streaming device to play ps4 games somewhere else around the house thanks to the remote play. The thing is, the vita has four face buttons, two analog sticks, a d-pad and even motion sensors but, while it has L1 and R1, there’s no such buttons for L2 and R2. Those inputs are usually mapped to the rear touchpad instead and, like any Vita owner knows, the rear touchpad sucks. That’s where this device comes into play. You snap your vita onto this and by pressing its triggers you activate the L2 and R2.
I’ve had my Vita for some years now and my PS4 as well and I have to say that I personally haven’t used the remote play for more than an hour in total. It’s not that it doesn’t work properly, though that feature is affected by your house’s network, mine works pretty fine but I just don’t see the appeal of it. The dualshock feels better in my hands than the Vita and I rather play those big home console games on a TV screen. What I do a lot though, is play PS1 classics on the go. That’s the main reason why I purchased this accessory for my Vita 2000 model and I can say that I’m pretty happy with it. The tricky camera from Spyro or the shooting in Twisted Metal is made much easier and satisfying to use.
This article was imported from Japan from an online site that doesn’t pay me hence I won’t be advertising them (it’s playasia though). Strangely enough, there’s two models for this grip, each one compatible with a different model of the PSVita and I have to say that I’m lucky I own the Vita slim since the original Vita’s grip is way too expensive in my opinion. The most plausible reason is that the article in particular isn’t in production anymore and they’re running out of stock.
Things I liked
- Build quality: It is basically a piece of plastic in the end but one that seems pretty well made and thought-out. With the Vita 2000 snapped onto it you can access all of the console slots and ports and the device feels completely secure.
- Works!: What it was made to do, it does right. Never has it happened to me that I pressed the trigger and it didn’t register so it certainly is reliable. It has to be said as well that the way the trigger feel is quite right. It’s no dualshock 4 but I would dare to say it’s better than 3.
- Added comfort: Those flattened “horns” at the bottom that seem to have been made for the device to sit flat on any surface actually makes holding the system much more comfortable. For someone with big hands like me, they really make a difference. It may not be the main reason why you’d buy this, but it’s really a good bonus.
Things I didn’t
- Compatibility: Like I said, I bought this to play ps1 classics on the Vita so this doesn’t bother me too much but it’s something to take into consideration. Some games have been remapped so the back touchpad isn’t the input for the L2 and R2 buttons. On those instances, having this accessory won’t be of any use. You can check the compatibility online and they could be patched for this support but being this a 3rd party periferal that is not very likely.
- Added bulkyness: This grip makes the vita wider and thicker and that added bulkyness is part of what makes the Vita more comfortable to use. That being said, with the grip snapped on, I can’t carry the vita in my travel case anymore which is a nuisance.
Things that eh…
- Price: This grip for the Vita slim is priced at 25 bucks more or less which isn’t half bad considering its quality. The problem is the original grip for the 1000 model which price seems to have sky-rocketed due to demand.
Who’d like this?
If you’re nostalgic for PS1 games like me and plan to use this to enjoy those old games on the Vita… way to go. I certainly haven’t regretted this purchase.
However, if you seek to use this to turn the vita into a remote play machine. I’d look around the internet forums for compatibility lists and decide then if the price of admission is worth it for you.