Talking tech since 2003

Some interesting news from a pre-Tokyo Game Show conference, courtesy of Inside Gaming Daily. Sony has announced a refreshed PlayStation Vita handheld, as well as a device called the Vita TV that allows you to play Vita games on your television.

The new Vita will slim down significantly — a 20 percent reduction — and will also be 15 percent lighter than the original Vita. The refreshed portable will also gain some battery life, lasting four to six hours, up from the original’s three to five hours.

Those hoping to ditch Sony’s expensive memory cards will be disappointed. While the updated PlayStation Vita does include on-board storage for the first time, the amount provided is a rather meager 1 GB, which isn’t enough to store most of the Vita’s titles.

And for those who want some variety in terms of the Vita’s colors, Sony is throwing you a bone. The company will introduce the updated Vita in six colors: black, white, light blue, lime green, khaki and pink. The new Vita is expected to sell at around $200 — the same price as the current model.

vita-tvThe Vita TV is an interesting move from Sony, a company that already has a line of successful home consoles. The Vita TV provides gamers with a way to play their portable Vita titles on a TV, which means you could conceivably play a game on your Vita portable and pick up where you left off on a Vita TV once you get home.

In addition to gaming, the Vita TV will also double as a set top box, with access to Netflix and other streaming TV and movie services.

Perhaps the most intriguing feature of the Vita TV is one it will borrow from the PlayStation Vita. The Vita TV will be able to act as a streaming box for the PlayStation 4, enabling gamers to play PS4 titles on another TV in the house. Gamers will no longer be out of luck when a family member is using the living room TV. Instead, they can simply fire up a Vita TV and gain access to the PlayStation 4 on any other screen in the house.

The Vita TV will sell at around $100, placing it head to head with the Apple TV, as well as the Roku line of boxes and numerous Android-powered devices. The fact that it also plays games — and has a year’s worth of titles, to boot — could help swing some momentum its way, though both Apple and Google are expected to jump into the home gaming war sometime in the future.

What do you think of the slimmed-down PlayStation Vita and the Vita TV? Do you think you’ll pick either one of them up? Drop us a line with your thoughts.

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