Somewhere there's a Sony executive frantically pounding on the chest of a PlayStation Vita to the rythym of The Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive." "Don't worry, Vita!" he's crying. "We'll make your already-sexy-hardware even sexier. Then they'll have to buy it! Live, damn it! Live!"
Enter the PCH-2000 series, colloquially known as the PlayStation Vita Slim. First revealed at last September's Tokyo Game Show, Sony has finally confirmed the system will land in North America sometime this spring.
The new model is 20 percent slimmer and 15 percent lighter than its predecessor--thus the name.
But what's especially drastic about the latest Vita is the screen replacement. The original Vita featured a crisp, high-end OLED screen. The new Slim opts for an LCD screen instead. Early reports from the European model say the difference is negligible, but it's definitely a wildcard. There's one notable benefit, though: battery life has increased to 4 to 6 hours, up from 3 to 5 hours in the last version.
The Vita's problem is not hardware, however. It's games. It's always been games. On that front, the Slim will be sold as part of a bundle alongside the upcoming Vita version of Borderlands 2. You'll also get one of Sony's incredibly overpriced, proprietary 8GB memory cards so you can actually install and play Borderlands 2.
The whole bundle--Vita Slim, Borderlands 2, and the memory card--will run you $200. That's the same price the current Vita sells at by itself. Not a bad deal, if you're really optimistic Sony can save the Vita ecosystem.