Sony has announced at their pre Tokyo Game Show press conference that they will be launching a second version of their infamous PS Vita system. The PS Vita system took over from the PSP that Sony launched in 2005, to tackle the growing concern of Nintendo. At the time Nintendo was blessed with success, their DS handheld, one of the most popular consoles ever. Since then the DS has taken its foot off the accelerator and yet Sony still hasn’t caught up. But this is because the market has changed. Sony’s PS Vita now battles with the smartphones for top hand held for mobile gamers. The PS Vita hasn’t succeed so far. The Android marketplace and Apple App Store have allowed smartphones to rocket ahead in numbers and the complexity and detail of the games available on these devices isn’t going to get worse. Sony suffered from a lack of titles and consumer enthusiasm with the first Vita. It didn’t fit into their ecosystem, but now with the PS4 launch – the Vita becomes a direct accessory to the next generation console; with remote play and other features. So has Sony got it right this time round?
This model of the PS Vita isn’t a new redesign. But it is thinner, lighter and more colourful. The system is 3.8mm in thinner than the previous handheld, is lighter weighing in at 35g and has a longer lasting battery. Sony has said that they have designed the Vita as a “more casual and easier to use model”. Sony has also said that the console is more “affordable”, packing a 5 inch LCD display instead of an OLED Display.
This new model will be available in six colours including: “lime green, white”, “light blue, white”, “pink / black” and “khaki / black”. Sony has yet to announce any global release, but will allow Japanese gamers to get their hands on the console on October 10th for 18,980 Yen (or about $190). It might be a chance for Sony to take more ground on the home territory. Allowing those emerging markets to grab a bit of the Sony magic. But as soon as we get a Western release date, we’ll let you know.
So while Sony gears up for the Tokyo Games Show and PS4 bonanza, do you like the new PS Vita? Is it enough of a change? And will it be worth it this time round, considering the growth and diversity of mobile phone gaming?