Sony redesigns the Playstation Vita

Sony has its targets set on the casual gaming market with the relaunch of its Playstation Vita handheld console.

The Japanese multinational unveiled the new-look console at the Tokyo Game Show. The new version is 20 per cent thinner than its predecessor and 15 per cent lighter. It weighs just 219g and measures 15mm wide.

It is also due to use a cheaper LCD screen instead of the original device’s OLED display, which means the battery life will be extended.

At the moment, only the launch date for Japan has been revealed – October 10 – but is expected to be rolled out elsewhere after that.

The new PS Vita will be available in a wider range of colours – white, yellow, pink, silver, black and blue.

The older OLED screen version will still be available, but will be repackaged to include a memory card and pre-installed games to make it more attractive to consumers. The price will also be reduced to a RRP of £169.99.

The new version, however, despite its cheaper screen, may still be a more popular option as it is expected to cost around £120 and to come with a 64GB memory card. New games have also been released to coincide with the revamp, including the role play adventure Phantasy Star Nova.

Called the PS Vita 2000, the cheaper console follows the pattern Sony has set when it comes to naming its handheld updates. The PSP was redesigned in 2007 and called the PSP 2000. It was a big seller for Sony, which will clearly be hoping the new Vita is just as, if not more, popular.

It is thought that Sony has given its Vita a fresh look and feel to tie in with the launch of its PlayStation 4 console, which enables you to use the Vita as another screen, or an extra controller if playing with friends.

Owning a Vita also means you can play PS4 titles through your Wi-Fi connection, so even if someone is watching the main TV, you can still play your game.

It is thought Sony is gearing up to release a bundle deal for consumers, including both the PS4 and the Vita. That could be why a release date for the new Vita has not yet been revealed for the UK and US markets.

In addition to the new Vita 2000, Sony has also revealed a tiny set-top box simply called the PS Vita TV. The device connects to a television to allow owners to play their Vita titles on a bigger screen while they’re at home. You can also use it to stream games being played on a PlayStation 4 to another TV set.

“This will allow users to enjoy most of the PS4 games on the PS Vita TV as if they are playing it on the PS4 system,” said a Sony spokesperson.

But consumers outside of Japan will have to wait to find out if the new innovations become available elsewhere. “We’ve not made any announcement about whether the 2000 series and Vita TV will be releasing in the UK and Europe,” said Sony.