PS Vita Slim: Breakthrough or Breakdown for Sony?
In 2012, Sony released its successor to the PlayStation Portable titled the PlayStation Vita. It was marketed as a handheld system with as much power as a PlayStation 3, with tech demoes that showed off many PlayStation 3 games. New features for the Vita were a unique front and rear touchscreen along with a crisp OLED screen and a front and rear camera.
Since the release of the PS4, the Vita has been referred to as a companion piece to the console, can be played remotely with some PS4 games on the Vita’s screen, similar to how some Wii U games are played on the console’s touchpad.
When the Vita was released, it came in two models: the standard Wi-Fi model priced at $299.99 and the 3G/WI-Fi model at $399.99. By comparison, players could buy a PS3 for the same price. Despite its impressive features, the Vita’s price for both the system and the memory cards, which ranged from $29.99 to $99.99, were too high for many consumers.
Due to this, the Vita released with underwhelming sales and barely any games.
In September at the SCEJA Press Conference, Sony announced a new, slimmer model for the Vita, the PS Vita Slim essentially.
It still retains the front and rear touch screens, and the dual analog sticks, but loses the crisp OLED screen in favor of a LCD screen. Sony has touted the system as 20 percent thinner and 15 percent lighter than the original PS Vita, along with an extra hour of battery life.
This new slim Vita will come in six colors: pink, white, black, grey, yellow, and aqua blue. It released in Japan last autumn and was released in the UK on the Feb. 7. No release date has been announced for the US.
The PS Vita Slim will arrive in a “Mega Pack” bundle where it comes with 10 popular indie games from the likes of “Hotline Miami” to “Thomas Was Alone.” The release of indie games for the system is making the Vita an indie game powerhouse. More indie games are currently available for the Vita than games made by AAA studios.
With the Vita’s poor sales, developers have no guaranty that if they make a game for the Vita it will sell or even have an audience. Indie developers on the other hand, have nothing to lose because they want to make an audience so they will release the game on as many systems as possible. For example, “Hotline Miami,” a popular indie title, has been released on the PC, PS3, PS Vita and PlayStation 4.
Though the PS Vita Slim has not been released statewide, speculations have indicated that it will be debuted in the United States at some point in the year. Even though AAA companies are not currently releasing games for the Vita, gamers can count on indie developers to fill up the Vita’s library in time for a U.S. release.
By Symmion Moore