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.

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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.

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