(Pocket-lint) - When Sony announced the launch of the PS Vita Slim in the UK, which is due to go on sale on 7 February, the aspect that was received less enthusiastically than others was the new console's price. Although it's retail price of £180 is £50 lower than the original RRP of the current model, many stores online offer the chunkier PS Vita for considerably lower.
At Play.com, for example, it is possible to buy a Wi-Fi and 3G PS Vita with 10 games, 16GB Vita Memory Card and a PS Vita Official Starter Kit for a penny shy of £140. The Wi-Fi-only PS Vita Slim can't possibly compete with that outstanding offer.
Retailers will be able to sell the original only while stocks last as Sony is not making any further units, and that will explain the clearing of stock, but those eyeing up the Vita, either as a companion device for their new PS4 or standalone portable gaming device, will more than likely opt for the cheapest version.
Pocket-lint spoke to Sony Computer Entertainment's UK MD Fergal Gara at the launch of the PS Vita Slim, and he explained to us that this price disparity is likely to be evened out by the retailers. "It won't always sell at the £180 price," he said.
"We would expect the market to settle between the £140 to £180 price point in the same way that it has with the original Vita. Around the £150 to £160 price point. I am quite comfortable with that compared to other devices in the market."
He also told us that the refresh for the console design was prompted by gamers' opinions of the first Vita. There are specific improvements therefore that will be attractive regardless of a slightly higher price point. "The new device is a result of feedback we got. They like the big screen, they like the controls, but they didn't like the charging or the weight," said Gara.
"They were keen on lighter weight. To me it feels 50 per cent lighter."
PS4 owners are likely to be among them. "We are seeing a change in the reasons to buy a PS Vita on the back of the success of the PS4. It's not just a standalone device anymore," he added.
"It's tens of per cents of people buying a Vita having bought a PS4. It's not single digit per cent of uptake."