Sony announced the new PCH-2000 revision of the PS Vita at their Tokyo press conference two days ago, a major hardware revision that takes several major steps forward in terms of thinness, lightness and battery life. All of the Vitas in the play kiosks at next week's Tokyo Game Show will be the new model, giving gamers their first chance to try them out for themselves. It's something that Mika Nagae, head of the PCH-2000 design project at Sony Computer Entertainment, is excited to see.
"This project got its start out of an effort to make the current PS Vita thinner and lighter, attracting more gamers without affecting the game experience," Nagae told Famitsu magazine. "In addition to people who're already using PS Vitas, we were also targeting new users here. The design plan for this has been around since just after the launch of the current Vita, but real development didn't begin until the spring of 2012."
One immediately obvious trait of the new Vita: The six colors, including sky-blue and Lisa Frank pink, it'll be available in for the Oct. 10 launch. "The current Vita presents this sort of high-class look with its coloring," Nagae explained, "but we wanted the new Vita to be accessible by anyone, regardless of age or gender. So I discussed things with the designers, trying to come up with casual, yet fresh and unique colors we could use. The colors have been pretty basic up to now, but the new Vita is trying to change that image by taking a different approach to coloring."
Most of the PCH-2000's major changes are external in nature, but there are a few improvements under the cover as well, such as the 1GB of internal memory the system now comes with. "This was the result of us really wanting users to be able to start running the system immediately," Nagae said. "Of course, in order to help users enjoy larger-sized content more easily, we lowered the price of PS Vita-specific memory cards on Sept. 10, and we'll be releasing a 64GB memory card on Oct. 10. The shape of the buttons has changed as well; the buttons jut out a bit more, making them easier to push and control."
Sony claims that the battery lasts about an hour longer, too. "This was something we worked on," Nagae said. "In addition, the speaker holes have also been rearranged into this kind of flower shape which I, at least, think is cute. Of course, the weight and fit of the system is still suited for gameplay, and it still feels the same as before to control. It's something that I hope people can try out for themselves."