Two-thirds of the appeal, for me, is best-possible play environments for PSP and PSX games. Hell, the PSP games I can’t get from the PSN store (Gitaroo Man, Outrun 2, Salamander/Gradius/Parodius/Star Soldier collections, not to mention titles like Gran Turismo that require a PS3 to transfer) are sadly better than the Vita’s entire library.
Wipeout 2048 is sort of a perfect example of how clueless Sony was pushing this thing into the wild. It’s beautiful, fast and fun—but on top of that, the music is terrible, with no custom playlist, there’s an annoying “+5 XP” pop-up and chime every time you hit a speed or weapon pad, there’s only five competing corporations (where the fuck is Harimou?!) which is basically explained away by lore, there’s no unique Zone maps or vehicles, the touchpad controls are just as terrible as the SIXAXIS ones were, and, on top of all that, there’s a bloody online code. I bought the game brand-new from amazon, pierced the cellophane and found mine to be already activated. Brilliant. I still like the game a lot; the tracks are probably the best in the series, but it feels anemic, hamstrung and unpolished. Its flaws are all the more wincing for their part in Liverpool’s closure.