At a press conference in Tokyo, Japan, Sony has unveiled two new Vita products: the Vita 2000 handheld console and the Vita TV, which plays Vita content on your television screen.
A smaller, lighter, cheaper PlayStation Vita will be hitting the Japanese market later this year. Called the PlayStation Vita 2000 — a name that seems curiously outdated, but consistent with Sony's updated lower-end PSP, the PSP 2000, back in 2007 — it is aimed at a more casual crowd, dropping the original Vita's OLED display for a less fancy LCD version that Sony claims will offer more natural colours and better contrast, and losing the proprietary charger in favour of micro USB.
It also clocks in at 20 per cent thinner and 15 per cent lighter, and will be available in six colours: black, white, blue, yellow, pink and grey. Like the Vita, it has very little on-board storage — just 1GB — but Sony will concurrently launch a new 64GB Vita memory card. Both will launch in Japan on 10 October for ¥18,980 (around AU$206 at the time of writing). The Wi-Fi-only PlayStation Vita currently retails for AU$269.
The company also announced something completely new: a tiny device that it is calling the Vita TV. Measuring just 6.5x10.5 centimetres, it connects wirelessly to both the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation Vita to stream content.
For the PlayStation 4, which is due to hit the Australian market on, the Vita TV plugs into an HD TV and streams games from the PlayStation 4 remotely — for example, from a different room — for play with a Dual Shock 3 controller.
What it can also do is play Vita content. Think of it like a micro console, kind of in the style of the Ouya; it's basically the PlayStation Vita without the screen and touch pad, and could be a massive game changer for the Vita brand, offering an accessible, low-cost means to play Vita games. It has slots for Vita memory cards and Vita game cards, and will have 1300 games available through download. It supports anything your Vita can play: Vita games, PSP games and PSOne games. It also has a USB port and Ethernet port, though Sony did not mention its Wi-Fi capabilities.
Other content will also be available, such as Twitter integration, but we suspect a great deal of that will be market specific; Australia, for example, will not see the Hulu integration that the US market will enjoy, although we may have access to Quickflix. The Vita TV will launch in Japan on 14 November for ¥9480 (AU$103). It will also be available as a value bundle, including an 8GB Vita memory card and Dual Shock 3 controller for ¥14,280 (AU$155).
Sony has not announced plans to launch any of these products outside of Japan at this time.