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Sony gives a little, takes a little; bringing revised Vita to North America for Spring 2014

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In light of the PS Vita's second year of life in the States, Sony is finally bringing its revised PCH-2000 model of the Vita to market, featuring an internal 1GB of storage space (a first for the console), some extra hours of battery life, a thinner form factor, and a screen that isn't OLED anymore.  A smaller, and less publicised change is that the system no longer requires a proprietary adapter to charge the thing, defaulting to a micro USB input that confers the kind of accessibility that underdogs need.

Certainly, a hardware refresh is the perfect opportunity to talk about how great the PS Vita is, along with starting a conversation about some of its upcoming software, including a port of Borderlands 2, which the system will be bundled with at launch.  Let's also not forget ports for Fez, the FFX games, and Minecraft are on the way, along with upcoming support from Telltale's big numbers and the typical spattering of third party sports games.

Other titles were touched on as a reminder that there are still developers making games for the console, with "more than 100 games planned" to release this year– a casually bold statement as plans can, and eventually do, change in the world of game development.  Hopefully we'll see more new, weird stuff like Hohokum and  Hotline Miami 2 to give the Vita a stronger sense of identity than a $200 PS4 controller.

Here's the full press release below:

Slimmer, Lighter PlayStation Vita Launching In North America This Spring, Bundled With Borderlands 2
Lineup of Over 100 Games Heading To PlayStation Vita in 2014, Including God of War Collection and Minecraft

SAN MATEO, Calif., Feb. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLC (SCEA) today announced a new slimmer, lighter PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) Wi-Fi model (PCH-2000 series) will be available in North America this Spring. The system will be available in black as part of the Borderlands 2 Limited Edition PlayStation Vita Bundle, which includes the first-person role-playing shooter hit Borderlands 2 with six DLC packs and an 8GB PS Vita memory card, all for $199.99 (MSRP).

The new PS Vita model comes with a redesigned architecture that is approximately 20 percent slimmer and 15 percent lighter than the original version, with new rounded edges that makes the system even more comfortable to hold. Incorporating a 1GB internal memory card, the new model makes it possible to enjoy games without purchasing a separate PS Vita memory card*1. The battery life has also been extended to four- to six-hours of game play (from three- to five-hours in the current model) and approximately seven hours of video play (from five hours in the current model). In addition, a high-definition liquid crystal display (LCD) has been adopted for the new system, delivering vivid and crisp visuals that PS Vita games are known for.

"PlayStation Vita is poised for a strong year, and introducing the new model is just the start." said John Koller, vice president of platforms marketing, SCEA. "With an array of great games like MLB 14 The Show and The Walking Dead Season Two adding to PS Vita's huge catalog of games, as well as our strong indie lineup and the ability to play PS4 games through Remote Play, now is the perfect time to be a PS Vita owner. In addition, PlayStation Now will expand the gaming library further by allowing PlayStation 3 titles to be streamed to PS Vita when the service launches later this year."

Borderlands 2, from Gearbox Software, and 2K, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., takes advantage of the PS Vita system's unique features by letting players use the system's front touchscreen and rear touch pad to zoom and pan on maps, manage inventory, inspect items, and more. The sequel to the breakout original shooter-looter follows six new Vault Hunters as they fight to free Pandora from the clutches of the brilliant, charismatic and utterly despicable CEO of the Hyperion Corporation – Handsome Jack.Borderlands 2 for PS Vita includes six downloadable content (DLC) packs: Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty, Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage, Psycho Character Class, Mechromancer Character Class, Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 1 and Collector's Edition Pack.

Content for the PS Vita system is stronger than ever with more than 100 games planned for the system this year, including:

  • God of War: Collection from SCE Worldwide Studios (WWS)
  • MLB 14 The Show from SCE WWS
  • The Sly Collection from SCE WWS
  • Invizimals: The Alliance from SCE WWS
  • Murasaki Baby from SCE WWS
  • FINAL FANTASY X HD Remaster and FINAL FANTASY X-2 HD Remaster from SQUARE ENIX
  • Hohokumfrom SCE WWS/HoneySlug
  • Helldivers from Arrowhead Game Studios/SCE WWS
  • Destiny of Spirits from Q Entertainment/SCE WWS
  • No Heroes Allowed: No Puzzles Either!  from SCE WWS
  • BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma from Aksys Games
  • The Walking Dead: Season Two and The Wolf Among Us from Telltale Games

Support from independent developers remains strong on the PS Vita system, with upcoming titles including:

  • Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number from Dennaton and Devolver Digital
  • Minecraft from Mojang
  • Metrico from Digital Dreams
  • LUFTRAUSERS from Vlambeer and Devolver Digital
  • Fez from Polytron
  • 1001 Spikes from Nicalis

Since the launch of the PlayStation 4 (PS4) system, the PS Vita system has become the ultimate companion device for the home console with key features like "Remote Play," which allows most PS4 games to be streamed on the PS Vita system at home over a Wi-Fi connection. The PS Vita system will also support PlayStation Now (PS Now), SCE's streaming game service that leverages cloud-based technology. The service will be offered first on the PS4 and PS3 systems this summer, followed by the PS Vita system and most 2014 U.S. models of Sony's BRAVIA TV lineup.

PlayStation Vita PCH-2000 Series Product Specification*

Platform namePlayStation Vita
Model numberPCH-2000 series
CPUARM® Cortex™-A9 core (4 core)
GPUSGX543MP4+
Main memory512MB
VRAM128MB
External DimensionsApprox. 183.6 x 85.1 x 15.0 mm (width x height x depth) (excludes largest projection)
WeightApprox. 219g
Screen5 inches (16:9), 960 x 544, Approx. 16 million colors, LCD
(Touch screen)Multi touch screen (capacitive type)
Rear touch padMulti touch pad (capacitive type)
CamerasFront camera, Rear camera
Frame rate : 120fps@320×240(QVGA), 60fps@640×480(VGA)
Resolution : Up to 640×480(VGA)
SoundBuilt-in stereo speakers
Built-in microphone
Motion sensorsSix-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer), Three-axis electronic compass
LocationWi-Fi location service support
Keys / SwitchesPS button
Power button
Directional buttons (Up/Down/Right/Left)
Action buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square)
Shoulder buttons (Right/Left)
Right stick, Left stick
START button, SELECT button
Volume buttons (+/-)
Wireless communicationsIEEE 802.11b/g/n (n = 1×1)(Wi-Fi) (Infrastructure mode/Ad-hoc mode)
Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR (A2DP/AVRCP/HSP)
Internal memory card1GB*2
Slots/PortsPlayStation®Vita card slot
Memory card slot
Micro USB port (Type B) (for USB data communication, DC IN,
Headset jack (Stereo mini jack) (for Audio [Stereo Out / Mono In])
PowerBuilt-In Lithium-ion Battery: DC3.7V 2210mAh
AC adaptor: DC 5V
IncludedPlayStation®Vita Wi-Fi model PCH-2000 series x 1
USB cable x 1
AC adapter x 1
AC power cord x 1
Printed materials x 1
*1 Some titles or features may require using a memory card, which is sold separately.

*2 The hard disk drive contains space that is available for users and space that is reserved for the system, therefore the actual space that is free for users is smaller than the total space stated in this document.

* Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.