During a livestream straight from Japan, Sony has announced a new version of their PlayStation Vita, just three weeks after announcing price cuts for the handheld gaming console. The company has also revealed an interesting device called the PlayStation Vita TV, a tiny console which melds together Vita hardware with PlayStation 4-related functionality.
Starting with the redesigned PlayStation Vita, Sony claims the new handheld is 15 percent lighter and 20 percent thinner than the original model, while also packing in an additional hour of battery life. While the majority of internal hardware stays the same to maintain game compatibility, Sony has switched out the OLED display for an LCD variant, there's now a micro-USB charger, and also 1 GB of internal storage.
The new Vita, launching in Japan on October 10th, will come in six colors - black, grey, blue, pink, yellow and lime green - and will retail for 18,980 yen (~US$190) in a Wi-Fi only model. The 4 GB to 32 GB memory cards have also been reduced, now retailing between 1,554 yen (~US$15) and 6,804 yen (~US$68), and there's a new 64 GB card that will set you back 10,479 yen (~US$105).
But the more interesting of the two announcements comes in the form of the PlayStation Vita TV, a console with takes up a mere 6 x 10 cm. The unit is based on Vita hardware and connects directly to your TV, allowing you to play Vita and PSP games, as well as access various music and video services, including Sony's own Music and Video Unlimited. Vita-style apps will also be a part of the Vita TV, such as the LiveTweet Twitter client, among others.
The Vita TV also acts as a remote play client for the PlayStation 4: the unit can connect wirelessly to a PS4 in a different room, allowing you to play next-generation games "as if [you] are playing it on the PS4 system". Unfortunately the system only outputs video at a maximum resolution of 1080i, and the DualShock 3 controller that connects to the system is incompatible with some Vita games that require touch and motion controls.
Sony will be launching the Vita TV first in Japan on November 14th, with the basic bundle costing 9,480 yen (~US$95). Another bundle including an 8 GB memory card and DualShock 3 controller will also be available for 14,280 yen (~US$143).