Slimmer $200 PlayStation Vita now available in North America

Plus, Sony says it expects to launch more than 100 games for the portable this year.

by

Original PS Vita on the left, new PS Vita Slim on the right. Use the arrows to see the differences.

After debuting last year in Japan and coming to Europe earlier this year, the slimmer and lighter PlayStation Vita model is now available in North America. You can buy the system today through a special $200 bundle that includes Borderlands 2 and an 8GB memory card.

The new PS Vita is 20 percent slimmer and about 15 percent lighter than the original unit. Sony says its new rounded edges should make it more comfortable to hold for extended play sessions. The new unit also includes 1GB of built-in memory, a new LCD screen (swapped out from an OLED) and extended battery life (4-6 hours of gameplay) compared to the original.

The PS Vita, of course, syncs up with the PlayStation 4 for its Remote Play functionality, which allows console games to be streamed to the portable. Sony says in a press release today that PS Vita owners in the United States have already collectively spent 1.7 million hours playing games through Remote Play.

In addition, Sony says there are more than 1,000 games currently available for the PlayStation Vita (including classic titles from PS One and PSP), and that the company expects more than 100 games to launch on the system this year.

Finally, PS Vita functionality is scheduled to grow. Sony's cloud-powered streaming service, PlayStation Now, will be available through the portable sometime in the future. PlayStation Now launches this summer in the United States.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

178 comments
nefphlegm
nefphlegm

When the Vita slim decides to sell without a bundle only then will i buy it and soul sacrifice delta.

emperiox
emperiox

Is it just me or does the slimmer vita look like it is made more cheaply? 

theKSMM
theKSMM

While I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of PlayStation Now, I wish that the new PS Vita had gotten video-output capabilities.  Where is the rumored Vita that hooks up to a TV?  I haven't heard anything about it since it was announced last year.  I could also use that 64 GB memory card...I hope that add-on is coming to the U.S. soon.

mav_destroyer
mav_destroyer

I still like the original. I plan to get it before they are dropped from retail.

XNEXUS666X
XNEXUS666X

Looks cheap, quite happy with my original, OLED screen is better too.

Hopefully a cheaper version = more sales = more games being developed though.

ArchoNils2
ArchoNils2

Looks ugly, I stay with my JP imported launch Vita (even though the battery goes crazy and changes the displayed amount of battery left, jumping from almost full to red to full again and stuff like that) :)

Also the Vita deserves more attention. It is a fantastic hardware that needs more games and more attention from sony

sdinh225
sdinh225

Got this model despite still having the first. Vita 1k definitely feels much more premium and the screen differences are worlds apart when comparing like the home screen menu side by side. The 2K's max brightness and washed out colors really pales in comparison to the 1k's brightness at half. However you'll probably won't even care about the screen quality when you're playing games. At least I don't and I don't use these for anything much other than gaming. Screen quality aside, I have to favor the 2k with it's slim build and weight, slightly bigger and more comfortable buttons, and dropping the proprietary sync/charge cable.


Other than that it's hardly an "upgrade" compared to like the 3DS and the XL which I have both of those too so if you already have the first Vita or considering getting one, there's really not much of a difference between the two other than the screen quality. Get whichever attracts you more on your preferences. Stuff like image quality, portability, ergonomic design or whatever since with the prices right now they cost pretty much the same.

VERTIGO47
VERTIGO47

Ugly....the original Vita looks much better, it doesn't look cheap. 

DJSAV_101
DJSAV_101

Picked up the bundle today with a couple of games and I'm liking it so far. I wish it came with a soft sleeve like the PSP did so that I had something to store it in.

markranger
markranger

1000 games -- The Vita needs a few big-name titles to gain traction. It could have a million games and still not sell well. Sure, you could copy and paste a list of Vita games in a posting to show how awesome the line-up is, but most people will just yawn. A lot of people don't even know Vita exists. It needs a few mega hits. It may have some games that hard cores like, but it needs some chart busters that will sell 10 of millions of units. After two years, Vita sadly does not yet even have one of those types of games. It was sold as a portable PS3, but it isn't really. Publishers feel pressure to max the graphics and make frame rate concessions. The specs, which is what Sony marketed most, are aging quickly. Ok, it is the most powerful handheld ever.... Vita specs will seem prehistoric two years from now. Again, it was billed as a portable PS3 first and foremost. For Vita, it is right now or never. If it does not catch on soon, it never will. People will pay 700 bucks for a smart phone, but that just means that they have less money to spend on a stand-alone portable gaming system. 100 dollar memory cards are a major deterrent. It sends a message to consumers that the Vita is a rip-off system. Mobile has way more than 1000 games and does not require an extra buy-in or overpriced storage. Yeah, most of those mobile games are trash, but how many people want to carry around a second device just for Vita game--hard cores--limited market. No one can believe that the 1000 Vita games are all quality either. The 3DS is able to play DS games, huge advantage. The DS has one of the best game line-ups in history, so does the 3DS. The fact that 3DS can play DS games means that the it is arguably the best pure gaming system in history. 3DS does not lack for quality games, and the perception is that the Vita does. Though, a large portion of the consumer public does not even know that the Vita exists. I loved the UMD PSP concept, but even back in 2005 I knew that those disks would not be playable on Sony's next model. The Vita is not able to fully take advantage of the PSP's successful back catalog. Reduce the price of the storage and release must-have mega hits. The new Vita, while smaller, is still huge in size. With smart phones becoming larger, who has the space to carry a Vita around?  Handhelds are a much tougher sell than they were a decade ago. Sony needs to justify why you should purchase and fit a Vita into your life. Where are the games that casuals want to play? Why is storage overpriced 500%? These are questions that still have not been addressed. I'm not sure that Sony has any answers for these questions. It's too bad because the Vita is an awesome concept in theory. People are not buying, so most publishers ignore Vita. Publishers ignore Vita, thus there are no mega hits, so casuals have no interest.

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

Looks like Vita's finally becoming a decent system.

Artwark
Artwark

It looks really great but I still prefer the 3DS over Vita. Nothing about fanboy talk and all but the fact that the 3DS has some of my favorites!


Still though atleast Sony is attempting to make the Vita better than before. 


Also why are they using LCD? isn't that a little cheaper to make seeing how Sony makes stuff expensive? does that mean we will get to see yellow tints and dead pixels?


Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

I have the PSvita 2000 Borderlands 2 bundle. I have yet to open it and try it out. I still have my PSvita 1000 So I will be able to compare the two. I wonder if the 1GB built in memory can be used to transfer data from my 2 4GB memory cards onto the included 8GB memory card. I know that the 1GB memory is unavailable when a game card is in use. So I eventually want to put the non-gaming apps on that 1GB memory. Like Netflicks,youtube and the like.


I will have fun figuring out the 2000.

snape4007
snape4007

So is a hotspot required for wireless or is this included from ps plus. N they wonder of our confusion.  Only most important ? and no asks please answer

gajbutler
gajbutler

Nice to see they're using an LCD with more natural colours, lower battery usage and it wont suffer from colour fade or screen burn in like all OLEDs do. The OLED panel used on the original wasn't great, if you looked at it in a pitch black room you could see how inconsistent it was and it had a lot of light bleed too. I mean OLED screens have pretty much fixed this with the latest smart phones but Sony were still using an old panel.


Just find it funny when I read how the LCD looks inferior, people just see over saturated colours and assume that is better looking... in reality you just end up with cartoony colours. The same goes for smart phone cameras these days, companies turn up the saturation because people think it looks better... like no you're just getting images that don't look like real life.

meedokicky
meedokicky

Ordered one of them bundles yesterday :] it is a good deal.

rarson
rarson

The original Vita looks nicer. The new one looks kinda cheap.

Ejotei
Ejotei

I would love to own a Vita if there were a wider variety of games, most of the games are just lesser versions of PS3/PS4 games and Im happy with my PC so I dont own a PS4 to take advantage of remote play, Nintendo seems to dominate the handheld market by a wide gap so will see if sony can close the gap enough. Anyway hopes the Vita does well

Celsius765
Celsius765

I hope I can afford to enjoy a sony handheld this time. I barely scratched the surface with psp

bubba_1988
bubba_1988

It would have been interesting to see how well the Vita would have done with micro SD instead of proprietary cards.

Aentikraist
Aentikraist

nice nice im just waiting here to reléase it in my country! meanwhile ill buy me a wii u damn i so wanna play that new fatal frame is worth the wait!!  and vita needs more horror games either a Outlast for the vita , new Silent hill Jap made and an awesome platformer and a real devil may cry while they re at it!!

Celsius765
Celsius765

lower the 32gb card to $30-40 and I'll buy a vita

DarkNeoBahamut
DarkNeoBahamut

I own a Vita and I love it, I play it a lot (own over 20 games in it, and I'm not counting the PSOnes) but I think the dealbreaker is the proprietary memory cards, not only they are too small (only 32GB now, but soon we will get 64GB) but they are very expensive, I could get a class 10 64GB sdcard for less of price of a vita 32GB memory.


Edit: the cross-save option is great for the games that support it, you play on your PS3 at home, syncronice your PS3 and PSV saves and you leave your home with your vita, and continue playing away from home, then you return and can sync again your devices and play again on your PS3. I hope more support for this with PS4/PSV (not only remote play, the lag is big away from home).

hardeddie
hardeddie

The main selling point of the Vita is actually the Remote Play. When Im away from home ( Tokyo ) I can access my PS4 from anywhere. Whether I be in London, Geneva or HK it works flawlessly and connects in under 10 seconds. Memory card may be expensive but the Vita is targetted at gamers who are too busy with work. Vita helps with Jetlag too.

My ' NEAR ' apps have clocked in 200,000+ km and with 8million plus Vita owners worldwide I always meet up with new gamers everywhere and interesting to discover all this Vita owners and their games. I have yet to find any handhelds that have these capabilities. And you cant put Vita down as having no games. It has plenty of exclusives and with remote play you have amazing PS4 games directly into your VIta.

On a side note, I gave up on my Xone last month and sold it to probably the biggest Microsoft fanboy in Japan. Since he couldnt wait for the Xone to officially launch here. He didnt care for any of the Tv features since none of the service works outside of US, nonetheless I bought a new graphic card with that extra cash.

sdinh225
sdinh225

@emperiox  This one is the budget model so it doesn't just look like it's made cheaper, it actually is made of cheaper parts. Mainly the switch from OLED to LCD screen. The majority of the newer model has that PDP rubber Vita trigger grip texture so it doesn't really feel cheap but it definitely doesn't have the heavy premium feel of the of the original Vita. The plastic material surrounding the buttons/sticks/speakers however feel like the same cheap plastic used for the PSP 3000 although it's only that frontal part of the handheld. 

Bgrngod
Bgrngod

@theKSMM  The VITA TV went on sale back in November in Japan and several southeast asian countries back in January.  It is hardly a rumor at this point.

JachAnen
JachAnen

@ArchoNils2 Luckily it's finally getting exactly that. And if sales grow, we'll see even more developers porting their great games to it and/or making new ones for it. Even if it doesn't, at least we'll have a couple of games to look forward to among those 100.

theKSMM
theKSMM

@sdinh225 The ability to use a standard micro-USB adapter might actually draw me in.  That's one less cable I have to worry about when I take trips.  How do you find the battery life compares to the first edition?  Is it noticeably longer?

roguedev
roguedev

@jetfreakist Really I can list off 20 without a problem... I suppose if your genres don't include platformers, 3rd person games or rpgs you might be a little limited though.
But that is more your taste than the number of high quality games on the machine.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@Artwark  

As far as I know, Sony's still selling the Vita at a loss or at least with little profits. Replacing the screen with an LCD is a good way to cut the cost of the system and honestly, I hardly see a difference in visual quality. It's noticeable but nothing major and I highly doubt the average consumer will notice. If you can play on a 3DS with no issues, then this model of the Vita shouldn't bother you at all with screen quality.

scatterbrain007
scatterbrain007

@snape4007  You'll need to have a hotspot to connect to the internet.  Playstation Plus is a service from Sony, they are not an internet provider.  I'm not sure where you are from, but if you buy the Vita with the 3G capability there are cell phone companies that will sign you up for a data plan for the Vita.  AT&T does it here in the States.

roguedev
roguedev

@gajbutler Thing is saturation is what game developers make of it when it comes to portable systems like this.

Also what is a "natural" colour in a game?

Most of the games on the vita aren't emulating reality or even natural colour shades they are GOING for that cartoony look.

As for OLED screens, yeah not arguing about it's actual quality... The screen even for it's time was really fairly bad.
What they needed to do is use a technology similar to Samsung's RGB matrix oled panels (the Super AMOLED+ ones, as few of them there are), heck those panels currently hold the widest colour gamute award for consumer panels once properly configured.


meedokicky
meedokicky

@rarson well it IS cheaper :P it also has a 1GB internal memory, longer battery life and more comfortable in the hands (so I heard).

XNEXUS666X
XNEXUS666X

@bubba_1988 Yeah that was a bit of bullshit, they should have made interchangeable batteries like on a digital camera, that way they could have substituted the cards with extra battery sales, I would definitely have bought a spare.

RicanV
RicanV moderator moderator

@hardeddie  Remote play is a selling point for me as well. Not only that PS+ is offering some solid titles for the Vita for free. It makes sense for me to purchase it to take advantage of my subscription service and for remote play. (Just waiting for a limited edition/colored version).

ArchoNils2
ArchoNils2

Well I would like to firstly know what those 100 games are before I am looking forward to it ^^

sdinh225
sdinh225

@theKSMM Trust me, it's a big load off compared to the first Vita's OEM cable. You either had to buy a 3rd party charging cable that charge but might not sync or buy something like the PISEN USB adapter for the original Vita's cable. That little thing tricks the OEM charge cable (and stuff like Ipads) to think like it's charging with the original AC adapter brick that you have to plug in the wall where you can plug it in USB wall charger, car charger, or portable power banks. 


As for the Vita 2k's battery life, I'm finding it to last a whole night on standby and about 12 hours of short but frequent gaming sessions on a full charge. At least I think it's full, my first charge seemed to take over 3hours and unlike the original, the orange charging light hasn't seemed to shut off yet. It seems way too good to be true right now but I'll need more time with it to see what's a more normal average under different settings and such.

Fallen_Lord
Fallen_Lord

@theKSMM @sdinh225  

You can easily get around 7 hours of game time and 10 hours of music with the 2000. The LCD screen uses less power therefore the battery life is improved.

XNEXUS666X
XNEXUS666X

@roguedev @jetfreakistYeah there's definitely a lot of good games available now, there's obviously a few more I'd like to see, but things are picking up on the Vita, looks like I'll be hanging onto it now.

roguedev
roguedev

@XNEXUS666X @bubba_1988they chose not to do the battery aswell, which is dumb as that was swappable on the original psp (in reality though it is probably because of the pandora battery trick from the psp 2000 era)

hystavito
hystavito

@RicanV @hardeddie  I got a Vita not long ago, barely played it and only PS+ freebies so far, anyway I recently tried PS4 remote play using my home wireless network and it was pretty laggy, I tried Resogun.


My wireless network is pretty good, I just got a high end router, but going from main floor to the basement might slow it down a fair bit.  It can max out my 30Mbps internet but I have no idea how much is needed for remote play.


I see there's an option for direct connection right to the PS4, maybe I'll try that.  Still I am surprised people are happy with the remote play over the internet considering I was not happy with it on my own LAN.


Any suggestions?

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@Bgrngod

I must've read a typo somewhere because I saw 16GB, oh well, I'm not big on downloading games so 1GB should last me a while.

hardeddie
hardeddie

I can tell you this, my personal experience I dont always find hotels with good wifi connection. Doing a speed test once I found the place only had 2mb download and 0.5 upload speed, and yet I managed to connect to my PS4 in Japan all the way from Bali. There was no lagging. It could be many users are connected at once on your home Wifi. Also dont make it a habit to keep your PS4 on standby mode. It does need to reset from time to time.

Another tip you could try connecting the PSVita via your mobile phone mobile data. This works well for me.

bubba_1988
bubba_1988

@RicanV  Understood, so that means your PS4 is never off just in sleep mode.

RicanV
RicanV moderator moderator

@Celsius765 @RicanV @hardeddie  The game is essentially being streamed to your Vita system via the PS4. It works in the same way that you can turn on your Playstation using your controller, instead you are just using your mobile console. 

hardeddie
hardeddie

@Celcius765 The Vita will power on the PS4. The PS4 doesnt have to be on.

hardeddie
hardeddie

Yes the PS4 will power on directly from the PS Vita wherever you are in the world.

I agree with RicanV, the advantage of having PS+ with the Vita worth more than the asking price of those memory cards. With cross buy some of these Vita games from PS + will allow you to redownload it again on the PS3 and as long as you dont save on the cloud you will have another set of trophies achievement.

Since the Vita Launch I have only bought three games for my Vita. Persona 4, Mortal Combat, and Hot Shot Golf, the rest I get them from PS +. And there are too many games and too little time to play them all. If you have the time, you will love all these PS+ games. Most PS+ games on the Vita are less then a year old. This is a worthy investment, dont let the high price of those memory cards fool you.

Celsius765
Celsius765

@RicanV @Celsius765 @hardeddie  I still don't get it. I mean does the ps4 get powered on when you do this or is it like using the content purchased on your psn account and does this apply to Physical games in the console 

RicanV
RicanV moderator moderator

@Celsius765 @RicanV @hardeddie  


https://support.us.playstation.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5065/~/ps4-remote-play-and-second-screen


PS4 as Wireless Access Point: This option lets your PS Vita wirelessly connect directly to the PS4 and provides the best Remote Play experience.

Home Wi-Fi Network: The PS Vita wirelessly connects to a router, which in turn connects to the PS4. Use this option if your home router is closer than your PS4 to where you'd like to Remote Play.

Wireless Internet Connection: With this method, the PS Vita connects to the Internet, then to an Internet-connected PS4. Use this option if you're away from home and want to connect to your PS4.