PlayStation Universe

PS Vita Slim: Sony's last chance of handheld success?

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on 10 February 2014

PlayStation Vita has had a rough ride of it since launching in December 2011. Sure, we as PlayStation and gaming aficionados know that it’s a great piece of kit, providing console-quality gaming on the go and a host of other great features under the hood to boot. However, Joe Public hasn’t taken to Sony’s high-powered pocket brick as much as the electronics giant perhaps would have liked, and after an initially strong launch period, sales have tapered off.

Fast forward to early 2014, and Sony has launched a revamped version of its latest handheld in an attempt to stimulate sales and appeal to the more savvy consciousness consumer -- but is this the handheld’s last chance at commercial success?

The release of a new hardware revision doesn’t typically come this soon in a console’s market life. With PS3, Sony had been losing money on every console sold, and so the arrival of the Slim, and later, the Super Slim, ensured it was finally making a profit on its aging machine. Also, it provides a suitable entry point for newcomers as a new generation comes along. With PS Vita however, it’s clear that Sony has acknowledged the handheld’s original incarnation wasn’t moving enough at retail, and as such the Slim version can be seen as an attempt to reinvigorate sales and give the system a new lease of life.

PS Vita Slim certainly looks the business, and the fact it doesn’t take up as much room as its clunkier cousin is a plus, especially if you’re lugging it around in your pocket on the go a lot of the time. One of the criticisms aimed at the PS Vita early on is that consumers aren’t likely to adopt a new piece of hardware that’s heavier and bigger than the ubiquitous smartphones that every Tom, Dick and Harry is equipped with nowadays. PS Vita Slim certainly rectifies this to some extent. However, the main sticking point with gamers is the fact the sumptuous OLED screen is now replaced with a more standard LED version, although Sony has insisted the difference isn’t too major.