PS Vita price drop in Japan fuels rumours of new handheld console

18 Feb 2013

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It is being widely reported today that the price of the PlayStation Vita handheld console has been cut by about a third in Japan, adding fuel to rumours that a new handheld console may be unveiled by Sony this week.

Reuters reports that the price of the 3G and Wi-Fi-enabled version of the PS Vita has dropped from JP¥29,980 (about €239) to JP¥19,980 (about €159), with similar price reductions seen on all other models.

The forecast for sales of the Vita and Sony’s older handheld console, the PSP, was scaled back earlier this month and, following this, Sony announced a major PlayStation-centred event to take place in New York this Wednesday, 20 February.

While it is expected that the PlayStation 4 will be unveiled at this event, the possibility of a new handheld console has also been noted. Patents filed in the US and Japan and uncovered by Patent Bolt indicate this could be a new Vita model with 4G capability, a HDMI port and a new USB port.

Meanwhile, a separate patent has been filed by Sony in Europe for something called an Eyepad, an additional peripheral that can sense motion data and transmit this to the console, much like the Move controller and the EyeToy camera.

It has also been speculated that the new console will be able to stream older PlayStation 3 games through a partnership with cloud-streaming service Gaikai.

Building up excitement ahead of the big event, Sony has produced a series of videos tracking the evolution of the PlayStation, starting with an episode dedicated to the original console from the Nineties.

 

Elaine Burke is managing editor of Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com