(Pocket-lint) - Sony has launched the PS Vita Slim in the US today, 6 May. The rejigged version of the PlayStation handheld has been available in Japan since the end of last year and in Britain from 7 February. Now it's available for gamers Stateside too.
It makes sense. Much has been made of the PS Vita's ability to double as a remote play device for the PS4. Not only can you play PS Vita games, watch movies and perform all manner of shenanigans on the console, but you can also continue to play PS4 games on its screen when the main TV is switched off or being used by someone else.
That has breathed new life into a device that was critically well received on its launch two years ago, and a PS Vita Slim could prompt those who have so far abstained into picking one up this time around.
So the only real question for those who are tempted by what the reinvigorated PS Vita has to offer is should you get the slimmer, potentially sexier model or opt for the dependable favourite of games journalists everywhere?
Build and design
The PS Vita Slim has roughly the same proportions as the original PS Vita when seen face-on (85.1 x 183.6mm to 83.5 x 182mm) but is obviously thinner - although only by 3mm. The PS Vita Slim is 15mm thick, while the PS Vita is 18mm.
It weighs a bit less at 219g to the original's 260g.
In design terms, the new model is more rounded than the old one. Plus, in Japan at least, there are six different colours available. The face comes in white or black, but there are different rear plates. Although it looks like the initial release of the Slim in the UK will be limited to the black version, that might change in future. The current PS Vita is only available in black in the UK.
Perhaps the biggest difference in tech between the two is that the new PS Vita Slim has a 5-inch IPS LCD display rather than the PS Vita's 5-inch OLED panel. They both have a 960 x 544 pixel resolution, but initial reports of the display on the Slim model - based on its Japanese debut - are that colours are not as vivid and, because of the presence of a backlight, blacks aren't as deep.
Both consoles feature a 2,210mAh, but Sony claims the PS Vita Slim is capable of getting the most out of each charge. In tests, the original PS Vita manages around three-and-a-half to four hours of playtime between charges. Sony claims that the Vita Slim is capable of up to six hours of play time.
The original PS Vita doesn't have any storage capacity of note, so you need to buy an official Sony Vita Memory Card to play many of the games available - even if you've bought the physical copy. The PS Vita Slim has 1GB of storage space in-built, so you can technically play any physically bought games from the off.
We'd still recommend you get yourself at least a 16GB card, especially if you've signed up to PS Plus and want to take advantage of the free games on offer every month. Both versions can be expanded by up to an extra 64GB.
Although the PS Vita Slim is sleeker and more attractive, the drop in screen quality does make a difference, we feel. We do like the sound of extra battery life, especially for long-haul flights, and the 1GB of storage for pick up and play without a card, but the trade-off might be too much for picture purists.
Whichever you choose, however, you'll be getting a very decent gaming machine, that's for sure.