We spent years carrying around cassette tapes, then another bunch of years carrying around compact discs, and most of that time said media formats were played through one of Sony's various Walkman devices. It looks like the Japanese hardware company is looking to recapture some of its past success by employing the man who designed the original Walkman to put together the company's latest handhled: the PlayStation Vita.

When the US PlayStation Blog descended upon Japan for the Vita's recent launch, the site found out that Tokashi Sogabe, a 27-year employee of Sony, was heading up the company's "corporate design center." That same team lead development of the Vita, which apparently went through a variety of different forms before the team decided on the current unit. "The team went through various designs, including one with a sliding back like PSPgo and a clamshell, before settling on the final model after discussion with developers," the post explains. Even weirder? Apparently, one of the prototype models had touch pads in place of the dual analog sticks like an Xperia Play -- we're pretty glad that Sogabe's team ended up cutting that bizarre choice.

Regardless, given Sogabe's past with Sony, we've got high hopes that the Sport and Mini versions of the Vita aren't far off.

[Image credit: 'rockheim']

This article was originally published on Joystiq.