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New PS Vita vs. Vita TV

New PS Vita vs. Vita TV

Sony has revealed two new models of its PlayStation Vita handheld: a slimmer handheld with an LCD screen, and a set-top box that lets you experience Vita content on your TV. If you haven't picked up a Vita yet, this may be the time to start looking. But make sure you get the right one for your needs.

First, a word of warning: At present, neither the slim Vita nor the Vita TV has been confirmed for release in the West, but Sony has seldom withheld its consoles from North American and European shores in the past. Even if the devices do not arrive right away, they will (probably) come at some point.

New PS Vita

The redesigned Vita handheld does not have a special name, but it's not difficult to tell it apart from the current Vita model. The new system is 15 percent lighter and 20 percent thinner than its predecessor and contains 1 GB of internal memory (the current Vita has none).

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These features come at a price, however: Instead of the current Vita's razor-sharp, 5-inch OLED screen, the new Vita will have a 5-inch, standard LCD screen. In addition, the system will only be available in a Wi-Fi model, as opposed to the current Vita, which comes in both Wi-Fi and 3G flavors.

While the current Vita is always black, outside of special bundles, the new Vita will offer pink, yellow, gray, white and blue models, too. In Japan, the system will cost the equivalent of $190, so expect the device to retail for somewhere between $150 and $200 if and when it comes stateside.

Vita TV

The Vita redesign is conservative as far as system updates go, but the Vita TV represents a different beast entirely. The Vita TV is not a handheld system at all, but rather a lightweight console that requires a TV.

The Vita TV is only about 2.5 inches in width and 4 inches tall, and will retail in Japan for the equivalent of $100. Rather than competing with handhelds like the 3DS or full-fledged consoles like the Xbox One, the Vita TV seems to be taking square aim at lightweight consoles like the Ouya and, to a lesser extent, streaming video boxes like the Roku.

The Vita TV allows users to play Vita games, along with downloadable PSP and PSOne titles, just like the Vita handheld does. Users will control the device with an included PS3 DualShock wireless controller.

However, not every Vita title will be compatible with Vita TV, at least at the outset. While popular titles like "Dragon's Crown" and "Persona 4" are present and accounted for, other hits like "Uncharted: Golden Abyss" and "Assassin's Creed: Liberation" are strangely absent.

The main draw of the device appears to be its streaming capabilities, which will include mainstays Netflix and Hulu, as well as Sony's Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited services. While the device cannot deliver a full 1080p output, it can function at any resolution up to and including 1080i.

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  • 0 Hide
    jakjawagon , September 9, 2013 11:19 PM
    I don't know where you got your 6.3 inch Vita, but as far as I can tell (from Amazon and Wikipedia), the first-gen Vita has a 5 inch screen too.
  • 0 Hide
    Joshua Carter , September 10, 2013 6:15 AM
    There were rumors of the new Vita having a 6.3 inch screen. These have obviously since been put to rest, as the new handheld has a 5 inch LCD
  • 0 Hide
    Marshall Honorof , September 10, 2013 8:02 AM
    Yes, thanks for the heads-up. The 6.3" screen didn't pan out, so I gave the article a quick edit.
  • 0 Hide
    Thorfkin , September 10, 2013 9:35 AM
    I don't own a Vita yet but from what I understand, many people have experienced burn-in on the OLED screen version. LCD tech has indeed improved a lot recently. The colors still aren't as vivid as what an OLED screen can produce but LCD panels also have a significantly longer life span than OLED panels and generally don't suffer from burn-in
  • 0 Hide
    fulle , September 10, 2013 9:35 AM
    The Vita TV seems like it's going to be a great purchase for people who are already invested into the Sony ecosystem.

    Someone who owns a portable Vita, PSP, and PS4, as an example, would be able to play many of their existing physical or digital Vita games on the big screen with a controller, do the same with digital PSP games they own, ps1 classics, and stream PS4 to another room.

    How is that considerable value just ignored here?
  • 0 Hide
    bustapr , September 10, 2013 12:55 PM
    Ive read from various sourced that the new screen is actually LED. The new Vita has what appears to be the analog sticks everyone hated from the PSP days, or at least something similar. The current Vita has nice analog sticks. Overall, the new Vita seems like more of a downgrade, but its necessary to get a nice price drop.

    I am very excited for VitaTV though. Its a very interesting path for Sony and one that certainly has garnered public interest with the Ouya and other low cost media center devices. Of course the game library is limited to non-touch games, but even with this limitation, theres certainly better games on the VitaTV console than other Android consoles. At $100 this is great value for your money.
  • 0 Hide
    fulle , September 10, 2013 5:20 PM

    They're switching from OLED to LCD screens. There's pros and cons, I suppose, with one of the pros being that LCD is less susceptible to burn in. I think that people just liked the OLED on the Vita a lot, since it produces such nice looking color, and are worried that the LCD wasn't be as nice. I'm curious to see the comparisons once the new Vita gets into the hands of sites like Anandtech.

    As for the analogs... They're still the "good" ones. And the X O square triangle buttons have been improved. So no downgrade on inputs....

    From there, no more propriety USB connector, they slimmed the Vita down quite a bit, added nice color models, added in 1GB of internal storage (so people without memory cards can play physical media, storing saves on the 1GB), and it actually looks pretty nice.
  • 0 Hide
    thermopyle , September 11, 2013 6:40 AM
    "Uncharted: Golden Abyss" and "Assassin's Creed: Liberation" are not 'strangely absent." They're absent because they make integral use of Vita-specific hardware in their gameplay--namely the touchscreen. It was clear from the initial announcements that the Vita TV was leaving such games off the compatibility list due to the hardware differences.
  • 0 Hide
    thermopyle , September 11, 2013 8:04 AM
    "Uncharted: Golden Abyss" and "Assassin's Creed: Liberation" are not 'strangely absent." They're absent because they make integral use of Vita-specific hardware in their gameplay--namely the touchscreen. It was clear from the initial announcements that the Vita TV was leaving such games off the compatibility list due to the hardware differences.
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