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New PlayStation Vita was designed with continuous hours of play in mind

When designing the new, slimmer PlayStation Vita, handheld planners and designers Taichi Nokuo and Mika Nagae paid special attention to the system's buttons and comfort level, according to a recent Q&A on the PlayStation Blog.

Speaking about the handheld's concept, Nagae — part of the strategy and product planning department — explained that the system was designed to be "casual, easier to use, and [to make] users want to play their favorite games every day." According to Nagae, the system's lighter, round silhouette will make the system more comfortable to hold for longer periods of time.

Nokuo, who works for the UX platform design group for the SCE corporate design center, said that he looked at the system's button positions and their ease of use.

"I aimed to design a hardware that felt intimate, and something that fit comfortably in the users' hands," Nokuo said. "I had extensive conversations with the engineers so I was able to see the hardware's internal structure, and understand how to achieve my goals.

"The new PS Vita inherits the overall silhouette of PSP and the first generation PS Vita, but I also tried to accentuate its freshness, lightness, and slimness. I also incorporated our vision that a new world of PlayStation is about to unfold with the launch of PS4."

The new Vita, which was released earlier this week, features a micro USB port and a power and notification indicator at the top to inform users of the Vita's status. The handheld's rear touch pad includes a dotted pattern to help users figure out where to tap.

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