Sony has just introduced its second hardware iteration of the PS Vita to the North American market last week. It had previously introduced the revised handheld in it home market of Japan in 2013 and in Britain in February 2014. With E3 2014 just around the corner, Sony took the opportunity to introduce the new Vita to North American gamers as part of a new premium bundle that includes an 8GB memory card and the just-completed PS Vita version of Borderlands 2, a proven hit on every platform it’s been released in. The PS Vita version of the game is the same as the others, including two of the DLC campaigns of the Game of the Year Edition, as well as the Mechromancer character and some other DLC goodies, but it also limits multiplayer groups to two members, probably because of hardware limitations. The gameplay and graphics are just as awesome as you remember.
And what about the PS Vita “Slim” itself? The main differences between the new hardware iteration and the original PS Vita is that the gorgeous, bright AMOLED screen has been replaced by an LCD panel. The difference is readily apparent: the colors just don’t pop out as you as in the original PS Vita’s screen, despite still looking very good. On the upside, LCD screens have a longer life than AMOLED screens, and they consume a lot less power. So yes, that’s another difference: the new PS Vita as a much longer battery life than the priginal, 1.5-2 times as much. The device is also slimmer, muvh lighter, and doesn’t have the silver trim the original PS Vita had. The shape of the Playstation, Start and Option buttons has been changed as well. Sony also included 1GB of internal storage memory on the PS Vita Slim, so that buyers could upgrade the firmware and install at least one game from the PSN without the need of a separate memory card. And upgrade the firmware you’ll need to, right out of the box.
Everything about the new PS Vita screams “cost-reduction”, from the packaging to the device itself. Sony Corporation is really struggling financially these days, and releasing this cost-reduced SKU was a necessary measure, in order to stem losses. This is not really an upgrade from the original PS Vita, and owners of that device own the clearly superior version, so there is no reason for them to rush out to buy this one. They should, however, pick up Borderlands 2. It’s a moral imperative. 😉 The Vita is also seeing a lot of success lately, especially in Japan, where it’s outselling the PS4 two to one, and it’s become the gaming darling of the masses, with new JRPG, visual novels, and Monster Hunter type games released weekly for it. So if you don’t own a PS Vitta, this is the perfect bundle for you.