PS Vita Slim Release Date News: Redesigned Device Out Now, Creators Give Insight Into Development Process

By Matthew Buzzi , Updated May 08, 2014 07:07 PM EDT

The redesigned PS Vita was released earlier this week, bringing an improved ergonomic shape, new screen (for better or worse), internal memory, and longer-lasting battery to the market.

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The new system's on sale for $199, and is available in a limited Borderlands 2 bundle that includes an 8GB memory card. The PlayStation Blog sat down with the handheld's designers to discuss the PS Vita's recreation, giving us some insights into the process and decisions.

The two individuals interviewed were Taichi Nokuo, UX Platform Design Group for the SCE Corporate Design Center, and Mika Nagae, Strategy and Product Planning Dept, both of whom have intimate insight into the project. There were several design goals the team wanted to meet, which the duo explained to Sony's official blog.

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"I personally think there is always some kind of challenge involved when working on a new design. I think hardware design is, overall, very challenging," Nokuo said.

"When designing the new PS Vita system, I took general button positions and ease of use into consideration. I aimed to design a hardware that felt intimate, and something that fit comfortably in the users' hands. I had extensive conversations with the engineers so I was able to see the hardware's internal structure, and understand how to achieve my goals.

"The new PS Vita inherits the overall silhouette of PSP and the first generation PS Vita, but I also tried to accentuate its freshness, lightness, and slimness. I also incorporated our vision that a new world of PlayStation is about to unfold with the launch of PS4."

Making the device slimmer, lighter, and sleeker was a main point of concern, for both aesthetic and ease-of-use reasons. They were able to achieve the new shape and size by optimizing and reducing the number of components, as well as downsizing the circuit board.

"The concept of the new PS Vita was "casual, easier to use, and makes users want to play their favorite games every day," said Nagae. "I think users will be able to tell when they actually hold the new system in their hands, but the thin, light, and round silhouette makes the system very comfortable to hold, allowing users to play their games continuously over longer periods of time.

"The new PS Vita inherits the overall design of the current PS Vita, but also incorporates many new elements. The shape of the Start button, Select Button, and PS button is slightly larger than its predecessor, and has a round convex shape so that it's easier to push."

Head over to the blog to read more about the process, and grab the Borderlands 2 Vita bundle while it lasts if you're interested.

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