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PlayStation Vita Slim – Top 5 improvements

PlayStation Vita Slim – Top 5 improvements

The PlayStation Vita Slim has been out for some time in Japan and Europe, but it’s launch in the US gives me a great opportunity to list the top five improvements over the old model. Even though at a glance there isn’t much of a difference between the two, some of the items on the list may surprise you.

5. Thinner & Ligher

The most obvious upgrade over the original PlayStation Vita is the reduction of weight and size, making the Slimmer PCH-2000 model easier to carry around. Considering we’re talking about a portable console, these things always matter. Even though 20% thinner and 15% lighter doesn’t look like much, you immediately feel the difference. The Slim seems to be lightweight compared to the now-called “Phat” Vita, and the slimmer hardware is easier to grip. No more cramped hands after long sessions of gameplay.

4. Internal memory

The PlayStation Vita Slim comes with 1 GB of on-board memory which is just about enough for save game storage, some minor patches and a few tiny indie games. The old version only had external storage, and could not be used without a proprietary memory card. The catch is that Sony is the sole manufacturer of Vita memory cards, and their price is quite high compared to the price of SD cards. You can now just start using your Vita Slim without spending more money. Of course, you will eventually need a bigger memory card for bigger digital games, but you can postpone that for a while, or you can opt to never buy one and only play retail titles. You now have a choice.

3. Better buttons

The Vita is an excellent portable machine, but up until the Slim version, some of it’s buttons were not that great. While the new D-Pad and Face buttons are mostly the same, they have been slightly repositioned for better and more comfortable access. Also, the Select, Start and PS Home Button have been redesigned. They are all round shaped now, and a bit bigger, so you can push them with your whole thumb, not just the corner of your fingernail. These are welcome aditions, that will improve the experience. Screenshots were never easier to capture using the PS + Select combination.

2. Micro-USB

Perhaps one of the best changes in the Slim Vita is eliminating the proprietary charging cable. You can now charge the PCH-2000 console via a micro-USB which you can definitely find in every household. This makes the Vita easier to carry still, not requiring a different cable than the one you probably already use for your mobile phone. Isn’t standardization great?

1. Battery Life

The single most important thing in a handheld device is it’s battery life. The Vita could be the best console in the world, with amazing graphics and killer gameplay, but it would’ve failed miserably if it couldn’t sustain long gameplay sessions. The original provided about four to five hours of gameplay on a single charge, and the Slim should add an extra hour to that, according to Sony. Gamers who bought this in Japan and the UK report that they get even more than one hour of extra juice, so the Slim has a great advantage over the original model in this regard. Unfortunately, this is a double edged sword. They could only improve in this area by switching from OLED displays to LCDs, the latter having inferior image quality. It’s no big deal if you don’t put the consoles side by side, but when compared it’s obvious that OLED wins every time. Being a portable experience, I think that battery life should always win over image quality.

So there you have it. Five reasons to get a PlayStation Vita Slim over the old, soon to be discontinued, Phat model. There is another catch to the new Playstation Vita PCH-2000: it’s price. The console comes at 199 $ in a bundle with Borderlands 2 plus an 8 GB memory card, so the new hardware comes with a welcome price cut. If you get the Borderlands 2 bundle now, you can play the game one week in advance, because it will launch officially outside the bundle on the 13th of May.

  • Coffee

    Said it well, the slim is the definitive version, the LCD screen looks fine and a much longer lifespan

  • drd7of14

    My three issues are yes, 1. The screen change to LCD, not bad, but OLED will always be better, 2. The lack of flush on the front of the VITA, this is mostly aesthetic, but it is ugly, and 3. The rear touch being not 1-1(very close to in the original model) for the back, it makes it weird when appearing on the screen, you tap right behind something, and the display is not in the exact spot as the finger. This applies to games like Tearaway and Smart As, but I will admit most games just use it as general tapping or left and right side.

    The other side issues, are obviously, different accessories if you had the earlier model and want the newer one. But I will say one issue to be aware of, much like 3rd party chargers for any phone, Android/iPhone or tablets like the Kindle, just because it is the right shape and size, doesn’t mean the charger will be correct. You have to check the current. Cruddy Lightning chargers or Micro USB will not work correctly with the VITA either.

    For the purpose of protecting your device, it is best to always best to use the Micro USB charger with the brick that comes with your unit. Otherwise, you may damage. So no…Any Micro USB charger will not be fine to use with your VITA.

  • Angel

    I don’t believe that because it was change from and OLED to an LCD it immediately make it a not better screen. I’ve seen LCD that looks better than some OLED. If they use some high quality LCD (Super LCD 3, IPS, ect.) it might even look better. Although the OLED from the Vita does looks amazing, looked sharp and good color accuracy without absurd over saturation on like some other screen that use OLED base display.
    Also in my opinion the previous one look far more attractive.

  • mike

    i won’t be fooled again

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