Could Cross-Buy Save the PS Vita?


Regardless of your handheld preference, it’s an unfortunate truth that the PlayStation Vita hasn’t been doing very well. Maybe it’s Sony’s fault for not marketing as well as they should have or that the game library is minuscule compared to the game libraries found on the Nintendo 3DS and original PSP. Personally, I love my PS Vita but I haven’t turned it on since launch because I haven’t really had a reason to once Uncharted: Golden Abyss was beaten. We’ve received review copies for every console, handheld, and mobile OS – except the PS Vita, so take that for what it’s worth.

For the first time in months, I finally turned on my sexy piece of plastic the other day and played a game after the expected painstakingly long update. Playing the game felt good, very good. The game was Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. It’s a great game, but I didn’t buy it on the PS Vita. See, I bought it for the PS3 and received a copy for the PS Vita for free via a Cross-Buy promotion. Seeing that I was able to get the same game twice for the price of one (technically less, but you get the idea) was what ultimately drove my purchasing decision. This got me thinking: Could Cross-Buy be the savior the PS Vita is in dire need of?

For those of you out of the loop, Cross-Buy is similar to movies that have been coming out lately with an extra digital copy included for free. You get the game on PlayStation 3 and then get a lower resolution version for your PS Vita, free of charge. An added plus is that if you have PlayStation Plus, you can save the game to the cloud and then resume the game you left at the TV on your PS Vita. This is the age we are living in! An age of magic!


With Cross-Buy, gone are the days of pondering which version of the game to buy. You can have both or give a copy to a friend. I have to say, if that doesn’t make you want to buy a PS Vita, I don’t know what well. I hope more developers jump on board with this radical train of thought and support Cross-Buy. I truly believe it could be simple enough to drive sales.

An added benefit of supporting Cross-Buy would be a decrease in piracy. Let’s face it, a lot of people have the mentality of believing that if they own a game already, regardless of which platform or its current location and condition, they are entitled to being able to pirate it without persecution. It’s a bullshit thought process, but I understand where they are coming from. It’s annoying to have a game you love but not being able to play it on a portable console unless you shell for it again. Cross-Buy eliminates the need to buy the game twice and would lower the chance of someone pirating it.

At the end of the day, Cross-Buy is a wonderful concept that Sony should make regular use of. I could be the saving grace the PS Vita needs. The PS Vita is a wonderful handheld console but a lot of people are having problems committing to it or geting use of it. If Cross-Buy is the future, then that future might get a little brighter for the handheld deserving of more positive attention.

Where do you stand on Cross-Buy? If it becomes a regular practice with games released in the future, would that help sway you into buying a PS Vita?