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By 28 August 2012 | Categories: news

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The PlayStation Vita may not have garnered the sales that were expected, but no-one can accuse Sony of neglecting its portable console or not doing all it can to improve its fortunes
 
The latest news that further enhances the Vita’s core functionality comes from the newly released (and quite significant) Version 1.8 system update.
 
The 100 MB update brings several noteworthy features to the Vita’s capabilities. First of these is compatibility for PlayStation 1 classic titles, which can either be downloaded from the PlayStation Store on the Vita or transferred from one’s PS3.
 
Blast from the past
 
The list of compatible and soon to be available games, at least for those of us who enjoy the PlayStation EU store, is extensive.
 
A small sample of the games, which will be available for download from tomorrow, include Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped, Syphon Filter, Syphon Filter 3, Abe’s Exoddus, Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Final Fantasy V, VI, VII, VIII, VIX, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Pandemonium 1 and 2, Rayman, Rayman 2: The Great Escape, Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis and Resident Evil: Director’s Cut. The full list can be found here.
 
The PS1 classics will apparently have their own section, and one will be able to save shortcuts to downloaded titles on their home screen. According to Sony, the list of PS1 classics will be made available on a phased rollout on a weekly basis.
 
Navigational flexibility
 
Once the update is installed, users can enable button navigation in settings, allowing one to scroll through the Vita’s menus using either the navigation pad or the analog sticks. Although it may sound like a small feature, in practise it makes navigating the Vita that much more enjoyable and intuitive, while providing a further means of accessing games and menus without having to touch the screen (and sully it with one’s oily finger smears).  
 
Additionally, this button control extends to controlling video playback. Another multimedia related addition, courtesy of the 1.8 update, is the ability to download one’s iTunes and PS3 playlists onto one's Vita.
 
The browser has also received some improvements, namely that the search bar now shows up at the top, while users can also scroll up and down webpages using the rear touchpad. Additionally, in preparation for forthcoming cross controller friendly titles, such as Ratchet and Clank: Full Frontal Assault, users will also find a cross controller app under Remote Play.
 
For a full review of all the features offered by the system update, view the video below.
 

To the point
 
Clearly, the Vita is receiving a lot of love from Sony at the present. Along with recent announcements of some promisingly innovative new titles (such as Media Molecule’s Tearaway), the new update only makes the Vita an even better piece of kit in our experience.

Indeed, the PS Vita is quickly becoming one of the most underrated devices of this year in our opinion, which is a pity, considering how well it actually performs, and plays, in one’s hands. 

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