Vita Hearts Indies

Sony's making a big noise about its support for indie developers at the moment -- particularly when it comes to the Vita.

News by Pete Davison, .

Fellow Vita owners! How many times have you had to justify your purchase to someone who thinks Sony's pretty little handheld doesn't have any games? Quite a few, I'd wager.

And yet it hasn't been true for quite some time, really. While the Vita is somewhat short of what we'd typically refer to as "blockbusters" or "triple-A" titles -- and retail games in general, for that matter -- it is most definitely not short of things to play. Not only does the system play host to the complete library of digitally-downloadable PSP titles (including some of the best JRPGs ever, such as Brendan's favorite ever game ZHP: Unlosing Ranger vs Darkdeath Evilman) but it's also one of the best places to go for highly creative, interesting, unusual indie games.

After dropping the E3 bombshell that PlayStation 4 would allow independent developers to self-publish on the platform -- a position that Microsoft still doesn't quite seem to know how to respond to -- Sony has been continually making a lot of noise about how much it loves the indies. The latest salvo in Sony's barrage is the following video, aptly and simply named "PlayStation Vita Hearts Developers."

The video is primarily intended to highlight the fact that the Vita's PlayStation Store now has a dedicated Indie section featuring over 50 different games. Some of these, like Escape Plan, have been around since the system's launch, yes, and some of them, like Jetpack Joyride, got their start on mobile platforms, but this doesn't make them any less noteworthy. Alongside these established ports, there are also plenty of original titles, too -- stuff like Sound Shapes, Doki Doki Universe, Frobisher Says and Velocity Ultra, the latter of which I can personally confirm to be awesome.

The Vita's position as a portable indie gaming powerhouse is only going to get stronger in the coming year with games such as the newly-released Hotline Miami along with the upcoming Spelunky and 1001 Spikes, both of which convinced Jeremy that Sony's handheld actually wanted to kill him.

In short, while the Vita might not quite be the portable blockbuster machine that Sony perhaps originally envisaged, it's certainly carving out a very attractive and distinctive niche for itself. If you're a fan of the distinctive, creative way independent developers like to do things, then it's not a bad investment at all -- particularly if you've got your eye on the PS4 in the near future.

For more on Vita's indie offerings, check out Sony's dedicated Indie Games site.

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