Sony have made a number of unexpected announcements during this past week and at the annual SCE Japan Asia press conference for 2013. The biggest reveal being the launch of a new PS Vita model and a PS Vita TV microconsole, to be launched on October 10th 2013. A number of PS Vita games were also announced, along with a larger 64 GB memory card to accommodate for the expected increase of games on the PS Vita marketplace. Lest we forget, the controversial February 2014 release date of the PS4 in Japan was also mentioned. Here’s a breakdown of all that has been mentioned in the last week:
New PS Vita
It’s called the PS Vita 2000, which uses the same naming conventions as the PSP and will be available in 6 different colours. It boasts 1 GB of onboard storage, a 20% reduction in weight and is 15% thinner than the predecessor. In order to appeal to a wider audience by cutting the price, they’ve ditched the OLED screen, instead donning LCD technology. This device holds up to 6 hours of charge rather than the previous 5 and it and will hit shelves in Japan on October 10th 2013. The audio output holes have been modified, the PS Vita home button is now circular and it also looks like they’ve got rid of the plastic seam around the edge of the controls that gathers finger grease like nobody’s business – hurrah! We’re also saddened by the removal of the PS logo grid from the back touch panel – this has now been replaced by dots.
It’s geared toward a more casual audience, with the slightly more affordable price of 18,980 yen (£120 or $192) – over a third off from the original PS Vita 3G RRP of 29,980 yen (£190 or $303).
PS Vita TV
The biggest surprise of the press conference! A micro-console called the PS Vita TV. It’s a small device (6.5cm × 10.5cm) that plays PS Vita games on your television and uses a Dualshock PlayStation 3 controller. It can also stream music and video, like Apple TV. Here’s a trailer, courtesy of GamesHQMedia on Youtube:
According to Sony SCEj’s official announcement on PS Vita TV, the device will be available on November 14th, 2013 for 9,954 yen (£64 or $101) in Japan only. There’s currently no word of US or European release dates, although a September 10th interview with SCE President and CEO, Andrew House provides a shaky suggestion that US and EU versions may follow at some point with the phrase ‘The company is planning to sell the PS Vita TV in China, South Korea, etc, but not in the US and European market at this point.’ – we think that this doesn’t rule it out, but you can read the full interview here.
At launch, there will also be a ‘PS Vita Value Pack’ for 14,994 yen (£95 or $152), offering a Dualshock 3 controller and an 8 GB PS Vita memory card. There is also mention of Remote Play between the PS Vita TV and the PlayStation 4. From launch, the device is expected to support over 100 games, as detailed in Sony’s PS Vita TV list. The list includes games such as ‘God Eater 2’, ‘Rayman Origins’, ‘Earth Defence Force 2017 Portable’ (IT’S A GIANT BUG, AHHH!) and ‘Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3’.
PlayStation®4 (PS4™) remote play
As with PS Vita, PS Vita TV will also support PS4™ remote play and Wireless Controller (DUALSHOCK®4) through future system software update*4. This will allow users to enjoy most of the PS4™ games on PS Vita TV as if they are playing it on the PS4™ system.
We’re excited to see more of PlayStation’s ‘Apple TV’ and the new PS Vita model at the Tokyo Game Show on the 19th September 2013. Hopefully, we’ll see some more images or maybe hear even more announcements regarding these bits of kit. Also, with the 64 GB memory card coming to Japan for 9,980 yen (£63 or $100), we’ll be provided a lot more space to play (although a western release has yet to be confirmed).
This trailer, from the PlayStation Japan Youtube channel, ‘playstationjp’, shows what a day could be like with PlayStation in your life:
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