PS Vita Slim Gets UK Release Date: Better Battery Life But the Screen Gets a Downgrade

By Gerald Lynch on at

Wearers of skin-tight jeans, rejoice! Sony has just announced the launch of the PS Vita mark 2 (aka, the "Slim one") in the UK, for pocketable, bulge-free gaming.

A number of improvements over the original version of Sony's handheld will make the jump to the new edition, including Micro USB charging as opposed to the first Vita's rather frustrating proprietary power cable. 15 per cent lighter and 20 per cent slimmer overall, an internal redesign of the handheld console's architecture has facilitated the Vita's diet.

Despite the belt-tightening, battery life improves. Six hours of gaming per charge is now possible, as well as 12 hours of music playback. That's up by an hour or two, depending on usage, over the original. 1GB of built-in memory is also included, allowing for out-of-the-box game downloads and software updates.

However, as with the Japanese model which launched back in September, the new Vita will feature a 5-inch LCD touchscreen, rather than the original's premium OLED display. The new slimmer handheld will be Sony's dominant model going forward, eventually phasing out the existing model. Check out Sony's own comparison video above.

Up for pre-order from today, the new Vita hits stores on February 7th. It launches at £50 cheaper than the original at £180.

The change in screen technology however is likely to divide would-be Vita owners, especially considering the first wave of Vita's can now be picked up in bundle packs for close to the £130 mark. This isn't a budget model by any means -- the slimmer design is welcome and is considerably more portable (an important factor when the Vita's competition now not only comes from Nintendo's 3DS but slimline smartphones too). But should stock of the original OLED Vita model become tough to find, I wouldn't be surprised if it eventually becomes something of a collectors item.