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First Look: Sony Vita Slim is a welcome redesign

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First Look: Sony Vita Slim is a welcome redesign

2:01 /

We give Sony's Slim new Vita the review treatment. It's not as bold a revamp as we'd hoped for, but this is still a powerful gaming gadget.

Sony's Vita hasn't exactly been a rampant success, but the company is hoping to give its handheld console a boost with this new slim version. But is it worth your time? As the name suggests, the Vita Slim is thinner than its predecessor. It's only had about 3 millimeters shaved off, but when you hold it, it does feel noticeably thinner. Most striking is the weight difference. The Vita Slim is 42 grams lighter than the first model, which should make those lengthy gaming sessions a bit easier on your wrists. Apart from the slim down size, the biggest change here is the different display. The screen is the same size and keeps the same pixel resolution, but instead of an OLED panel, it now uses LCD which is a different type of display technology. That was a risky move as we were really happy with the old Vita screen. We didn't have to worry though as the new display is just as good. Colors aren't quite the saturated on the new LCD panel, but we found it produces slightly more natural tones and it seems slightly brighter too. One very welcomed change is that Sony has scrapped the Vita's proprietary charger ports in favor of the more common micro USB which is the same port used by loads of other gadgets like Android smartphones or Amazon's Kindle. Also new is one gigabytes of onboard storage that's helpful, but it won't go very far once you've downloaded some apps and have accumulated a few saved files. After that, you'll need to buy a Vita memory card, and unfortunately, these are quite expensive costing roughly $40 for a 16-gigabyte card at the time of making this video. Ultimately, the Vita Slim is a decent improvement, but competition for gamers' attention is still very fierce. Our advice is to look at the list of games available before you buy. If there are Vita exclusive titles you're desperate to play, this might be a sensible purchase. But it's also worth considering other options like Nintendo's 3DS handheld, or the wealth of cheap downloadable games that are available on a smartphone or tablet. I'm Luke Westaway for CNET and this is the PlayStation Vita Slim.

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