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Vita is a great console

PlayStation Vita

If you've never dive deeper into the topic, you probably remember PlayStation Vita as a complete failure, it launched in 2011 as a successor to much-beloved PSP but was quickly forgotten by Sony and gamers due to a number of issues.
However, thanks to the homebrew scene, the console got it's second life and has quite big fanbase even now. I'm going to show you now why it is my favorite handheld and what exactly has changed over the years that made it better than in early days, also some begginer advices for people considering to buy it.

Why did it fail?

Let's start with the reasons of it's unsuccess, I will quickly remind you what these were, and why, they don't matter nowadays:

High price

Vita costed $249.99, which was lately reduced to $199.99, as for now, you can get a second hand one for around $100.00 - $130.00. Brand new ones are probably still expensive but that's because Vita is not manufactured and sold by Sony anymore.

Proprietary (and expensive) memory cards

If you wanted just 32GB of space, you were forced to pay $79.99! just reminding, OLED model had only enough storage to hold the operating system, Slim had more, but it was still only 1GB...
Fortunately, something like SD2VITA exist, this is an adapter that let's you use MicroSD card and you can have up to 2TB(!) of space.

Not a lot of games

Did developers suddenly start making video games for this platform? Not really, but the thing is, Vita can fully emulate PSP, using Adrenaline you are able to enjoy ALL PSP library, and thus ALL PSX games too. And let's not forget about community ports such as GTA: San Andreas, Bully or Fahrenheit.

What makes it so good?

Let's now talk about my personal reasons I like this console so much:

Fully hackable

Vita is a last Sony's console that can be fully jailbroken, that is you can permanently change it's firmware. You can also use online features on your hacked games (although most servers are down...) or get achievements (if you care about them...).

Full PSP/PSX/retro emulation

This has been said before, but I really appreciate the fact that I'm able to enjoy games from my childhood except with higher quality screen and second analog stick.

Reading manga

There is a homebrew app for Vita called Noboru that let's you read manga or comics, and you don't even know how convenient it is to manipulate the reader using 2 analog sticks! Although the screen size may be an issue for many people since we live in times where any mobile phone has bigger screen.

Premium feeling

The design (of OLED version) is very elegant (see pic at the top). Buttons feel very nice to click and there are proper analog sticks with thumbstick grips made with gum, overall the device feels pretty high-end, something that cannot be said about Nintendo Switch Lite for example.

What can I play on it?

As I said before, Vita alone doesn't have many games in it's library and in my opinion the biggest advantage of this console is full psp/psx emulation, however, it's not like there are no games for it at all...

What model should I buy?

Let's now say you want to buy Vita, first of all, software doesn't matter because you can downgrade even the newest version of firmware and jailbreak it, also 3G version is not worth at all except if you want to call of SMS people with your console.
So that leaves us with OLED vs Slim, here is the comparison:

OLED (fat) Slim
- OLED screen
- LCD screen
- Better battery life
- Slimmer and lighter build
- 1GB of internal storage
- Micro USB port
- Color version other than black available

Although it looks like Slim has more pros than OLED they are mostly insignificant, and on the other hand OLED screen makes a huge difference (see comparisons on YouTube), but of course each to their own, whatever you pick is up to you.

Is it worth to buy nowadays?

The truth is, I don't know. In times of mobile emulation and mini PCs that can run probably 100x more games and offer better hardware, it may seem obsolete, it released in 2011 after all.
What can I say for sure is that I bought my Vita about 5 years ago and don't regret this purchase at all. To me it's a convenient little gadget that lets me play various games while sitting comfortably in my bed.