The Vita Screenshot Feature is the Best Thing Ever

I think I’m enjoying the PlayStation Vita screenshot function a little too much.

For those of you who don’t own a Vita — I’m sure there are plenty of you — it gives us the ability to take screenshots of Vita games at any time. Just press and hold the Start and Home buttons at the same time at the exact moment something awesome is happening on screen and BOOM, instant memory.

For me, it’s gone from a “Isn’t that neat?” feature to “I’m taking pictures of everything incredible in Persona 4 Golden.” I have pictures of my Ragnarok Odyssey heroine, who I like to pretend is an undead assassin. I have screenshots of Dokuro and the Princess approaching the flower. I snapped a picture of the opening screen of SunFlowers to use as a background. Not to mention the image of Igor, Margaret, and Marie I’m using as my new lock screen.

It wasn’t just about saving a moment for myself. I’d share screenshots via Twitter. Sometimes I’d want to point out how cool something was. Other times, I’d want to mock what I was seeing. More often than not, it was about highlighting and sharing the joy I had at that moment.

I think the tipping point came when I received my review copy of Persona 4 Golden. (It’s a fantastic game, by the way, and you should all rush out and buy it the moment it is released on November 20, 2012.) My boyfriend, for whatever reason, is firmly in the anti-Persona camp. I can’t fathom why, since Persona is pretty the best thing ever. So, in an attempt to wear him down convince him of Persona 4 Golden‘s virtues, I took to taking screenshots of every funny/interesting/mockable moment. It was as I was sharing scenes during the game’s class trip segment that I realized how fantastic the screenshot feature is.

Combined with the Live Tweet app or even the Vita messenger app, the screenshot function becomes an invaluable means of connecting gamers and sharing the experience. I can show off my latest Persona 4 Golden persona acquisition. (I believe you are all familiar with Mara.) I can brag about my Persona 3 Portable Velvet Room lock screen. I can convince people Dokuro is worth buying by showing how charming the presentation is.

Especially awesome is a feature that appears if someone decides to swap images via the Vita messenger. The person receiving the photo can then tap a button after viewing the image to be taken to the PlayStation Store to buy the game they’re seeing.

It makes me wonder why it has taken so long for this kind of screenshot feature to be implemented into consoles and handhelds. Sure, a handful of PS3 games have a screenshot option, and some Xbox 360 and PS3 games allow video footage to be recorded, but there hasn’t been a universal means to take screenshots until the Vita. It’s both a blessing and revolutionary.

Granted, it isn’t going to be a unique perk for long. Video capturing capabilities are enabled in certain PS3 and Xbox 360 games and I’m certain the next generation of consoles will allow people to take screen-caps and videos at their leisure.

But for now, the screenshot function is something special for Vita owners, and we should all be using it.