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Feature: Three Reasons Why You Should Skip the PS Vita Slim and Snag the Original

Posted by Sammy Barker

Handheld heartache

As predicted, Sony announced the PlayStation Vita Slim for the UK and Europe earlier today. The redesigned handheld will release on 7th February and will replace the existing model of the pocketable platform. Already available in Japan, the overhauled hardware is approximately 20 per cent smaller than its ageing accomplice. It also boasts a more efficient battery and 1GB of on-board storage – enough to ensure that you won’t need a memory card to play retail games. However, this all comes at the cost of the original iteration’s illustrious OLED screen, which was a primary selling point for the original device.

Worse still, the platform holder has announced that the initial form of the format will be discontinued on these shores, meaning that this may represent your last opportunity to purchase the first edition of the manufacturer’s miniscule machine. In fact, speaking with VG247 during a swanky announcement event in London earlier today, PlayStation UK gaffer Fergal Gara hinted that this version is almost sold out, with the new model likely to replace it at most retail outlets in weeks. With the ageing appliance slipping out of stores like water through a colander, then, here are three reasons why you should skip the shrunken model and snag the inaugural unit now.

The price is wrong

We’ve accepted Sony’s tackier hardware revisions in the past because they’ve come attached to significant price drops. The second iteration of the PlayStation 3 put the platform in line with consumer expectations, despite shedding the original’s glossy finish and chrome panels. Meanwhile, the Super Slim – which tossed out the mechanical disc slot in favour of a corrugated top-loader – cut the cost of the console down to a mainstream price point, reaching as low as £99.99 in the UK over Christmas. The removal of the OLED screen from the PS Vita Slim should come with a significant saving, then – but the platform holder has instead opted to actually increase the price of the diminutive device from where it currently sits.

At the time of writing, you can pick up an original 3G compatible console with a 16GB memory card, official starter kit, and ten downloadable games – including blockbusters such as LittleBigPlanet PS Vita and WipEout 2048 – for £139.99. Granted, this may be a special promotion, but it’s an absolute no-brainer compared to the £179.99 figure attached to the new slimline model. Features such as 3G compatibility may not mean much to you, but why would you ever pay more for less? The fact that the abovementioned bundle comes with the OLED iteration of the handheld hardware should just be the icing on the cake.

The screen doesn’t shine

Sony says that the differences between the PS Vita Slim’s LCD display and its original OLED screen are hard to spot. “When we introduced the Vita with the OLED screen, that was considered – and it was – the pinnacle of screen technology,” said gaffer Gara in a conversation with VG247. “It was a beautiful screen, and LCD at the time would have felt like a compromise. What’s happened in the interim is that LCD screen technology has improved significantly. While some think that there’s a subtle difference between the two, we think that it’s relatively imperceptible.”

Except that’s not strictly true. Granted, the display is closer to the original than you may initially anticipate, but it’s still a downgrade. For starters, the blacks on the new unit are not nearly as rich as on the original model, due to the LCD panel requiring a backlight. Furthermore, comparisons show that its colours are not as vibrant as the inaugural model, meaning that oversaturated software such as Gravity Rush looks washed out as a result. If you’ve never experienced the original Vita, then you may not notice the step back – but while you can still snag the OLED edition, you should plump up for the superior technology.

The advantages aren’t enough

As we’ve already alluded, a hardware revision ordinarily comes with some noteworthy improvements, be it a smaller price point or some new features – however, the PS Vita Slim’s advantages just don’t seem good enough. The hardware is smaller, but it amounts to a miniscule three millimetre difference in thickness, while the considerable weight reduction – 260 grams to 219 grams – is appreciated but hardly worth pulling out your pom-poms about. The 1GB of on-board storage is a nice extra, but you’re still going to need to stump up for a memory card, with the prices remaining prohibitively expensive whichever console iteration you buy. Moreover, the battery life improvements are not especially outstanding, with the new unit offering six hours of gameplay compared to the original console’s four to five.

Perhaps most infuriating of all, the platform holder has opted to skip on the variety of designs and colours that made the redesign look appealing when it was announced in Japan last year. With lime green and shocking pink permutations available, these may have provided a shallow – if understandable – reason for trendy gamers to upgrade, but the manufacturer has opted to stick with the boring black design for its Western launch. Zzz.


Do you think that we’re being a bit harsh on Sony’s new device, or are you scrambling to buy a first edition version of the Vita as we type? Has the manufacturer made a big mistake with this model, or do you think that the advantages will show in time? Mull things over in the comments section below.

Do you agree that the PS Vita Slim is a poor hardware revision? (108 votes)

Yes, it costs more and lacks the original console’s incredible screen

73%

Hmm, I’d need to try one for myself

15%

No, I like the smaller form factor and vastly improved battery life

12%

Please login to vote in this poll.

[ Image credit: Total Tech War ]

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User Comments (46)

ShogunRokAdmin

#1

ShogunRok said:

Yep, it's pretty awful really. The price point is the killer - you'd have to be mad to pay more for what is - in some cases - a worse console.

cruches24

#2

cruches24 said:

granted price is horrible just want to know how much its ganne be for USA but thats the only bad thing i see so far other then that dont really care about the screen

Jaz007

#5

Jaz007 said:

Oh my gosh, if the screen's as bad as the comparison shows, they said it's not easy to tell, I was suprised by how much better the colors were on the OLED. This is an awful hardware revision, the top loader was lacked class and was noiser (I have one of those stupid things since not beautiful fat model broke), a screen that looks worse by a good margin. That's horrible since they're discontinuing the OLED. Maybe Vita will dye a slow painful death if Sony keeps doing stuff like this (Okay, that one might be a little overboard), and to conclude my rant. "While some think there’s a subtle difference between the two, we think it’s relatively imperceptible.”

goonow

#6

goonow said:

I would actually get one just cause the battery in my vita doesnt hold a charge. It needs a price drop though. I live in north america so i dont know what the price will be here.

TreesenHauser

#7

TreesenHauser said:

To be honest, I haven't had more than a few minutes worth of play-time on a PS Vita, so I'd have to try both models out before making a decision.

Epic

#8

Epic said:

Sony went full stupid with this decision, I had really high hopes for a comeback with today news but I guess they are just to focused on their PS4 that they will just let it die. Killing a superior version of the console that can already be found pretty cheap at this point like you guys pointed out you can get the original one with few more games and a decent memory card for less.

xMonk

#9

xMonk said:

I'm perfectly fine with my Vita OG. The first game I got for it was BlazBlue, and holy crap... it blew the socks off of me in terms of color range. The ONLY reason I would opt for this newer version, would be solely for the battery, and a color change if I were to order it off of Play-Asia. Idgaf about the extra 1gb storage, since I had dumped $115 on Amazon to get that 64gb card (which gives me a plethora of games stockpiled in here)... So blow this iteration out of your ass, Sony. You goofed big time.

Carl-G

#10

Carl-G said:

I just want the 64GB Memory card :-/ But for a price i can afford i.e £40'ish(well it's not even out outside Japan yet which is stupid to from SONY) + the big selling point for the PSVita was the lovely OLED screen to, oh well.

SimonAdebisi

#11

SimonAdebisi said:

Clueless. Hopefully the last remaining oled vita stock will get clearance discounts! I will definitely pick another one up.

MadchesterManc

#12

MadchesterManc said:

So much OLED hype I thought Id stumbled onto a Samsung galaxy article :P As Ive stated before, a decent IPS LCD panel can trump an OLED display, so to be ridiculing the Slim (and LCD tech as whole) already due to not having the same screen tech using a suspect comparison image as a guide (Seems a little off to me. That LCD looks like its circa 2002 & The slim Vita looks gargantuan in it. There's plenty of Youtube comparisons that look nowhere near as bad as that pic) is a tad premature. Unlike most people who are dazzled at the mention of OLED, Im gonna wait until Ive actually seen the unit for myself & tried it. I have a feeling the LCD panel may be similar to the one Sony use in the Xperia Z, which aint too bad. Not IPS, but not bad.

The price is clearly too high though. If it was the same price as the original model Id take a slim, but most would jus topt for the original Vita on price alone with it as high as £179. Although it could just be a ploy by Sony to get all the stocked original Vita's sold while moving production to the Slim & then drop its price more in line with the original.

I already have a Vita anyway so its all a little moot really...

TwilightPoint

#13

TwilightPoint said:

I like the new revision for the most part.
I don't like the 1GB of on board memory as that says they have no intention of addressing the extortionate memory card price. That and you get a sheet of AR cards instead of actual individual cards and we don't get a variety of colours.
The price will probably drop after a while and will end up being cheaper than the current Vita model.

@MadchesterManc Pretty much this. I prefer natural colours rather than "bright and vibrant" (over-saturated, not that it doesn't look good) colours. Although it comes down to personal preference.

AVahne

#16

AVahne said:

I'll still get one, but I'll be importing from Japan. I want my color options and I'm not concerned about the screen. The original OLED looks downright blurry compared to my far superior mobile screens anyway, so it's no loss to me when switching to LCD.

-CraZed-

#18

-CraZed- said:

Is Sony even listening? It is the high price of the cards that is killing the Vita. There was no need for a revision on the hardware, except for one that ditches the proprietary Sony memory cards in favor of a cheaper, more open format namely Secure Digital cards, or price their cards in line with others'. The prohibitively high cost of the memory cards is one of the main reasons I haven't jumped on a Vita yet. I can't fathom having to buy a 32GB or a 64GB card o hold all those PS+ games I have saved up.
The OG Vita's price point is fine now and I expect it to drop even further this year so why even do this to be honest? Unless they mean to completely phase out the original. I guess on that level it makes sense but the price for THAT version is too high.

Cyrso

#19

Cyrso said:

I think you're pretty harsh, I haven't hold it yet, but I have heard that it is much more comfortable, has better battery life, has a standard micro USB for charging and has 1 GB built-in storage.

The better battery life and the more comfortable are pretty big deals. I don't now how much it will cost in EU, but based on UK's price it should be €220. I think that's fine with a bundle, but the thing is just that retailers have been cutting the price a lot themselves on the Vita, making this rivision seem like poor value. Compared with the standard PSVita RRP of €199, I think it's all right.

There's only so much you can improve on an already great handheld anyway.

Both PSVita's are currently extremely good value imo. There's not really any alternative where you're getting as much bang for your buck as with PSVita + memory card + PS+..

@-CraZed-

That sounds like a luxury issue. Since in my opinion the value you're getting with PS+ games outweighs the cost of the memory cards.

Squiggle55

#20

Squiggle55 said:

Very strange to have such a price difference. So they think they can charge more for making it lighter, smaller, 1 more hour of battery, and including 1 gb of onboard storage - all while downgrading the screen. At the very least it should be priced the same. Very strange. Especially if you're like me and like the heavier, thicker feel of the Vita.

Jazzer94

#21

Jazzer94 said:

The price is just silly with not enough improvements (if any really) to justify one might as well just import from Japan for less.

nickiscool2

#23

nickiscool2 said:

Its smaller, slimmer, lighter, better designed. Its battery life is better, and now you can get the Vita in colours. The only main issues i have with it are the lack of OLED and that it costs more. The price is ridiculous. If they made the vita 50$ cheaper, then i would definitely choose it over the old vita. Mainly cause the last one was too big and the battery life was a joke.

Squiggle55

#24

Squiggle55 said:

@RyoHazuki You are probably right. They are probably testing the waters to sell as many as possible at a silly price knowing full well they can announce a price drop at E3 or something.

AutumnShantel

#25

AutumnShantel said:

I think the original is "slim" enough... I'm a girl with tiny hands and still, if it was any smaller, I think it wouldn't be as comfortable... what they really need to do to make money off of the Vita is sell the memory cards for lower price. But it's not like everyone and their brother hasn't said that already.

SilentJ

#27

SilentJ said:

I actually went and got myself a Vita as soon as the slim was announced. The lack of the OLED screen is what made me not want the slim.

N711

#28

N711 said:

@SilentJ Same for me.. maybe a boost in the current model sells until they are sold out. A shame but I guess Sony makes more money out of the new ones and the price may drop dramatically in a few months.. Im kinda always trying to see the bright side :P

KALofKRYPTON

#29

KALofKRYPTON said:

Shame, the PS3 Slim was a great revision, the final version of the PS2 Slim was nothing short of magical, and relatively cheap too.

I doubt there will be another Vita revision, so perhaps Sony will see the light, look at Nintys 3DS success and lower the price.

Sometimes I wish they'd just called it PSP2 - can't help but think it would've meant more to the market keeping the branding consistent.

Faustek

#32

Faustek said:

Untitled

Seriously, I have both of them. And yes the colours are a bit duller than the original vita but in no way is this a poor hardware revision. And for some stupid reason the download speeds seem faster on the 2000. I'm probably imagining it.

Edit :

I should add that launching 64 gigs SD cards and allowing third party hardware devs (as the psp) to make cards(price drops please) would be better in every way.

Gemuarto

#33

Gemuarto said:

I really don't think that OLED screen makes gaming experience more enjoyable than LCD screen.

And I think that recommended price for old PSV is 200 or 190. So new PSV is 10 or 20 cheaper than old.

LDXD

#34

LDXD said:

Nothing would be wrong with this if it came with more built in memory 1gb seriously wtf?
This case it should be $20 cheaper than the original or come with 32gb on board memory IMO 64 would be nice but yeah this is dumb wtf is Sony thinking
I'll get this later on when its cheap just to have a back up and a slim version and I do like that ice blue for some odd reason

LDXD

#35

LDXD said:

What's up with the colors? Are they two toned? I noticed the black seems to have a pink back or is that just me? And the ice blue has a white front?

Gamer83

#36

Gamer83 said:

Useless revision. For the love of all that is good Sony needs to get the hell out of the handheld market, it just has no clue in this sector of the industry and all it serves to do is potentially take away from PS4. For example, I'm looking forward to Gravity Rush 2 on Vita, it will be awesome, but I can only imagine how much more awesome it would be on the home console.

moomoo

#37

moomoo said:

For what it's worth, this means Sony won't be losing money on the Vita, so there's that. As stock for the original model dwindles down, it won't matter that the original is better; it'll be gone.

Unca_LzStaff

#38

Unca_Lz said:

I think the point is that they're charging the same or more for an inferior version rather than lowering the price.

Jo_Jo718

#39

Jo_Jo718 said:

I still love my vita, but a localization of Freedom Wars, first full trailer to Gravity Rush 2 and price cut to the memory cards could've been way better than a barely discounted, kind of downgraded model.

Dodoo

#40

Dodoo said:

Usually I'm a bit gutted when a hardware revision comes up as I don't like having old tech (please don't judge!) but probably for the first time I'm actually glad I've got the original Vita.

The only thing I'd really like from the new device is the longer battery but hey, you can't have it all!

Gemuarto

#41

Gemuarto said:

@Gamer83 This revision helped to boost sales in Japan. So, it's not useless. It is really strange how everyone acts, looks like people didin't know that PSV slim was available in Japan for awile.

Even on PSV Gravity Rush had pretty tight budget, judging by content and all. So I doubt that it is possible on PS4.

hydeks

#42

hydeks said:

Reason Four: you live in NA and it's not coming here yet, for some reason :-P

Honestly, I would rather the original and it's OLED screen, the Slim version looks nice, but nothing compares to that OLED screen ;-)

charlesnarles

#43

charlesnarles said:

@Gemuarto not blurry as in low-res, that's "pixel-y". There's this weird tracer effect when things move quickly on-screen, but it's absolutely nothing compared to how every HDTV looked a while back. The diodes need a millisecond to turn off, I guess, but a backlit LCD would be even blurrier (ie Lynx)

fishwilson

#45

fishwilson said:

I will hold on to my original OLED Vita, but I'll probably get this one or maybe the next revision (there will be another one, just wait and see) too. Will it happen that developers now will start making games optimized for the new LCD screen and not the old OLED? As you can't adjust colors on the Vita, this might or might not be a future problem if the differences of the screens are as big as some might say.

nolanreid

#46

nolanreid said:

I totaly agree I have the old model and my friend allowed me to play his slim it sucs he said he wished he could of had mine

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