On September 19th Sony unveiled a new model of the PS Vita. Initially this could strike some as a silly move, creating a new version of something which isn’t selling that well. It could be a reaction to Nintendo’s 2DS, however given the thought and scope behind the new announcements, this doesn’t seem likely. Essentially the new model is a lighter, slimmer, cheaper version of the Vita. The screen is cheaper and less pretty, but that saves money so it’s really just providing the consumer with an alternative. The Vita TV is very interesting, it is a tiny box which has a peripheral controller and plugs into the TV. Essentially it looks like a mini PlayStation.
Recently the price of the original Vita has dropped, increasing sales which can only be a good thing. With the announcement of a cheaper model in time for Christmas, with the possibility of streaming any PS4 game, this is a sure fire seller with interesting potential for games developers. Though serious gamers will probably still prefer the gorgeous OLED display of the original Vita, the new model will certainly appeal to younger and cash strapped audiences. The fact that it actually comes with some memory this time is certainly a plus. Sony have learnt from their errors and responded to consumer criticism.
Compared to the 2DS the new Vita model certainly looks more appealing, and might appeal more to parents on an aesthetic level. Not all parents are hardened gamers with an intricate knowledge of consoles. They might see the 2DS as being “babyish” when compared to the slick design of the vita. However, each to their own, both hardware options will have an audience, we will expect their successes to be comparable through sales figures.
The Vita TV idea is one which is more “out there” as it were. It offers gamers the option of playing portably games on what is essentially a home console. This is an interesting idea and will, no doubt, appeal to some games. It could be a dark horse as Sony’s new PlayStation hardware all seems to inter-connect and having each piece could become something which appeals to people. There is arguably a niche audience for this piece of hardware to target. I for one would be interested in it, had I not already invested in a Vita.
The exciting part is not just the new hardware. Developers are already announcing big name titles for the Vita, which we can expect to arrive next year. Titles such as Borderlands 2 and Minecraft. These are massively popular games, much needed on the console. If this is the reaction from developers already, we can certainly look forward to more big name developers stepping forward with exciting new Vita games.
There will always be those who criticise this new hardware. Those who’ve just bought a Vita can take solace from the fact that they can play games on a beautiful OLED display. The announcement of these new hardware versions seems to be good news for Vita owners. At last, some will say. At last indeed, we might finally see the flood of big name supporters for the Vita which we have all anticipated and hoped for for so long. I look forward to the coming year, it’s sure to be an exciting time for Vita owners!