Sony announces new hardware designs
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012 13:09
With Sony’s Tokyo Game Show press conference out of the way, we can finally begin talking about the company’s new plans for their hardware. Specifically, the press conference confirmed the existence of a new version of the Playstation 3 as well as new colors for the Playstation Vita.
The new, second revision of the Playstation 3, or the Super Slim model as some outlets are calling it, is less than half the weight and internal volume of the original. The new model will be available only in the standard ‘charcoal black’ color here in the North America, while Japan will also have the option of purchasing a ‘classic white’ model.
In the United States, the new Playstation 3 will be available at retail in two bundles. The first will be available for purchase tomorrow at $269 and will include both a copy of “Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception” and a bonus pack containing $30 worth of digital goodies for the free-to-play, upcoming first-person shooter/massively multiplayer game from CCP, “Dust 514.” The $269 version will come with 250 gigabytes of internal storage while the second bundle, which will be available on Oct. 30, will contain 500 gigabytes and retail $299. It doesn’t look like the second variant will include either “Uncharted 3” or the “Dust 514” package.
Meanwhile, the Vita is getting a less dramatic, but far more colorful revision.
Sony showcased new color options for the Vita in Japan. Sony’s handheld will now be available in ‘Cosmic Red’ and ‘Sapphire Blue’ in addition to the current white and black editions already available in the land of the rising sun. Thus far, there hasn’t been any word on whether or not these variants will make it across the Pacific and into U.S. retailers, but it seems like that would be a likely conclusion. And hey, if they do happen to remain Japanese exclusive there’s always the option of importing.
While they were showing off the system’s new colors, Sony also announced that their Playstation Plus service will finally be coming to the handheld in October. The subscription-based service, which provides discounts, free games, automatic updates and clouds storage to members on the Playstation 3, has been mysteriously absent from the Vita since its Japanese launch.
What was not announced at the Sony press conference, however, was a price-drop for the ailing handheld. Multiple media outlets had predicted that the Tokyo Game Show would be the most likely event to play host to such an announcement, but for now the price remains at $250.
Playstation Vita sales have been quite low in both Japan and North America since launch with a handful of sales spikes in Japan following the releases of certain major titles. There is some speculation as to whether or not the new colors will be enough to boost sales of he device, or if a price drop is absolutely necessary.
What will definitely help to move the handhelds, however, is new games. Thankfully, Sony’s press conference also showcased several new and already announced games that will be released for the Vita in the coming months. These included Keiji Inafune’s “Soul Sacrfice,” a remake of “Muramasa: The Demon Blade,” a new title from the developers of Dynasty Warriors and the next installment in the “Gundam” franchise.
While these are obviously Japan-centric titles, they do indicate a higher number of developers moving towards development on the platform.
For now, we’ll have to wait and see what Sony has planned for the future of the Playstation Vita.