The Vita Is Almost A Complete System Finally

Firmware Update 2.10 for the Vita launched late last night around 10p EST. Among the several updates were a few to the email app, including HTML message support and a search function, and a browser update that added video playback support. These are easily aspects that should have been bundled into the apps but the motto these days seems to be release it now and patch it later.

The biggest feature, though, is folder support for the LiveTile OS. When I picked up my First Edition Bundle my two biggest gripes with the Vita were a lack of icon management and zero support for hardware buttons in the GUI. It took Sony 7 months to update the Vita to use the d-pad and cross/circle buttons for navigating the LiveTiles. Now, a little over a year after the launch, we can finally create folders. Before this huge advancement the Vita had a total of 10 pages that could hold 10 icons. While this seems more than adequate at first glance it becomes quite obvious, rather quickly, how limiting this is. Especially given that there are 15 icons that most will never use but cannot be removed including Welcome Park, the tutorial that loads when the Vita is first powered on. That takes us down to only 85 actually usable slots. The Vita is amazing with the backwards compatibility too. While there may not be 85 vita games yet, there are quite a few PS1, PSP, PS Mini, and PS Mobile titles to install, especially if the owner was part of PS+ when it seemed like Sony was putting a PS1 or Mini for free every week. There is definitely an argument to be made that most people will not be playing 85 different games so only keep games you are playing installed, but then what is the point of buying a large memory card. I have a 32gb card in my Vita and I filled up the 100 slots long before I filled up the memory card, and that was with screenshots and music taking up some space as well.

Fortunately, this is all cleared up now as Sony has finally remedied this little debacle. The Vita is finally taking form as a powerful handheld device ready to do anything(except Remote Play with a legit PS3). Proper apps(including email and social media), cloud based services(both audio and video), a growing game library that is actually good, and finally an OS that is evolving into something worth using. While I still wish Sony had chosen functionality over a touch screen UI I can actually say that my arguments against LiveTile are slowly being negated.

A complete list of all that was updated can be found here at blog.us.playstation.com. For the text allergic readers…

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