New PlayStation Vita coming October 10th: lighter, thinner, more battery life

If the news is big enough for a Sony livestream (and with an English translation, no less), then it's going to be good, right? Sony has announced a new version of its PS Vita, just weeks after announcing a price-drop across both the US and Europe. (Japan was treated to the discount back in February.) The Vita PCH-2000 is 15 percent lighter and 20 percent thinner than the original model and will add an additional hour of life to the battery. The new (WiFi-only) Vita will land in Japan first, on October 10th priced at 18,980 yen (about $190), and Sony isn't yet ready to reveal (or even confirm) availability in other parts of the world. But remember, that price tag is still cheaper than when the original Vita launched, priced at 24,980 yen.

Further hardware improvements (alongside pink, black, blue, grey, lime green, and yellow color options) include a micro-USB charger -- like your smartphone -- and 1GB of onboard storage. Interestingly, the screen tech has been changed to LCD from OLED, but we'll have to see it in the flesh before we jump to any conclusions on performance -- that's what is likely responsible for the drop in price. Alongside those colors, Sony's already planned for three special edition models: Gundam Breaker, God Eater (camouflage!) and Otomate. Check out the gallery below and read on past the break for more.

New PlayStation Vita coming October 10th lighter, thinner, more battery life

To augment the new Vita's built-in storage, Sony's cut the prices of its own memory cards too. From 4GB to 32GB, they've been reduced to between 1,554 yen (about $15) and 6,804 yen (just over $68). There's a new 64GB Vita card too, priced at 10,479 yen (roughly $105).

As for that original OLED model PS Vita, it's getting a new 'Play!' Game Pack, which comes with pre-installed games and a memory card packed in -- as well as 90 days of PS Plus, gratis. There's no launch date as yet for this bundle, but it's priced for Japan at 24,129 yen (about $241). The company says that it'll ultimately discontinue the OLED WiFi model, but that the 3G/WiFi OLED version will continue to be available and will find its way into similar discount bundles in the future -- make of that what you will. Sony's press conference continues, but we're hoping to get to test the device later on. Wish us luck.

Update: No hands-on, but plenty of time to stare at the new Vita from every angle.

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