Sony confirmed the existence of a thinner and lighter PS Vita at its Japanese press conference a few days ago, and designer Mika Nagae has been talking to Japanese magazine Famitsu about the redesigned system.
Nagae reveals the origins of the revised console, as well as the reasons for releasing it in multiple colours:
This project got its start out of an effort to make the current PS Vita thinner and lighter, attracting more gamers without affecting the game experience. In addition to people who're already using PS Vitas, we were also targeting new users here. The design plan for this has been around since just after the launch of the current Vita, but real development didn't begin until the spring of 2012.
The current Vita presents this sort of high-class look with its coloring, but we wanted the new Vita to be accessible by anyone, regardless of age or gender. So I discussed things with the designers, trying to come up with casual, yet fresh and unique colors we could use. The colors have been pretty basic up to now, but the new Vita is trying to change that image by taking a different approach to coloring.
Nagae also talks about the internal changes in the new console, highlighting the importance of the 1GB of memory:
This was the result of us really wanting users to be able to start running the system immediately. Of course, in order to help users enjoy larger-sized content more easily, we lowered the price of PS Vita-specific memory cards on Sept. 10, and we'll be releasing a 64GB memory card on Oct. 10. The shape of the buttons has changed as well; the buttons jut out a bit more, making them easier to push and control.
Finally, there's the battery life — which has been increased by an hour, according to Sony — and the new-look speakers:
[Battery life] was something we worked on. In addition, the speaker holes have also been rearranged into this kind of flower shape which I, at least, think is cute. Of course, the weight and fit of the system is still suited for gameplay, and it still feels the same as before to control. It's something that I hope people can try out for themselves.
The forthcoming Tokyo Game Show will see the new-look Vita put into the hands of the Japanese public, so we'll get to see if Nagae's claims hold water then.