Sony has unveiled a new PlayStation Vita handheld console, the PS Vita 2000 (PCH-2000). It offers a redesign and slimming down of the original Vita being 20 per cent thinner and 15 per cent lighter than the current model. Sony also surprised us by announcing a completely new device called the PlayStation Vita TV. This is a tiny console, comparable in size to an external 2.5-inch HDD enclosure, which employs the PS Vita architecture to play games and stream media content on your TV.
PlayStation Vita 2000
The new PS Vita 2000 is “aimed at casual gamers” says Sony. The updated handheld will be available in six different colours and is noticeably thinner and lighter than the existing model. Sony has improved the battery life of this handheld console so you can play games for up to 6 hours without plugging in. The PS Vita 2000 comes with 1GB internal memory and will be able to use bigger 64GB memory cards. Sony won’t be producing any 3G versions of this revamped console.
The screen installed in the PS Vita 2000 will be a regular LCD screen rather than the OLED version on the current ‘full fat’ model. Sky News reports that in Japan the recommended price of the PS Vita 2000 is 41,979 yen (£270). It will be released there on 10th October but we have no dates or prices for other territories.
PlayStation Vita TV
The diminutive PS Vita TV can hook up to your being screen via cable or wirelessly and play streaming TV services and access a library of 1,300 software titles from PS Vita, PSP and PSOne systems. You can see it pictured below alongside a matching dual-shock style Sony joypad.
In Japan the PS Vita TV will launch with streaming capability for services such as Hulu, Tsutaya and Niconico but we might expect to see the usual Netflix, Lovefilm, BBC iPlayer etc in the UK. The Sony device will be challenging others such as Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Sky's NOW TV box trying to muscle into the video streaming and entertainment space in the UK.
In addition to being able to play PS Vita, PSP and PSOne it is thought that the PS Vita TV will be able to remotely stream games from a PlayStation 4. Wired reckons that Sony will use Gaikai technology to make this happen in regions with good broadband connectivity.
Looking at pricing the Sony PS Vita TV sounds quite competitive at 9,954 yen (about £65) standalone. The price goes up to 14,994 (about £95) for a bundle including a wireless dual-shock joypad and 8GB memory card. Again, in Japan, this new Vita console will be available from 10th October.
Japan isn’t always first for Sony
In related news we found out today that the PlayStation 4 will be launched in Japan on 22nd February 2014 - three months after it gets released in Blighty.