The momentum is building for the PS Vita launch. Reviews are coming out for the system and the launch games. The fans are getting hyped up. The early adopters are awaiting their tracking numbers or calls from the their game store. It doesn’t look like there will be long lines for the Vita or a huge scarcity at launch, but all signs point to a positive launch.
So why am I so ambivalent? The short answer is that even though I like the looks of the new handheld, I just don’t think I’m an early adopter any more. I’ve realized that the thrill of new hardware can come at any time in a consoles life span. However, hardware and software bugs, limited libraries, launch bundles and high prices are front loaded. The DS Lite and the PSP 2000 and beyond were better and less buggy than the launch models. Microsoft eventually got a handle on the red ring of death. Now the 3DS has had a major price drop and filled in the holes in its library. If you’re cynical, you can see if a console is doomed by a bad launch or early sales figures.
I’ve come to realize that I like stable, refined hardware and software more than just having the cutting edge. I love my third generation kindle. Even the new touch doesn’t dampen my enjoyment of it. If I get an iPad, it will probably be this third generation. The old Windows rule of waiting for the first service pack to upgrade seems more generally applicable than I thought.
Mostly it has to do with limited time. I have many good games in the backlog. I have many systems to rotate through. Then I’m also distracted by the new hotness on my phone. The Amazon free app of the day doesn’t help either. Without a group of peers that are early adopters any more, I’ve lost that fire (or perhaps the masochism).
To everyone excited about the Vita launch, I’m happy for you. I hope the system exceeds your expectations. If I may make one request, please test everything, log every complaint, and sift the gems from the detritus. Those of us coming along later will benefit from your efforts. I’d like to thank you in advance for the better product I’ll eventually get.