So there we have it. As predicted last week, Sony has revealed the PS Vita Slim UK release date.
It's arriving on UK shores in a matter of days, on Feb 7, and will cost around £180. It's only a matter of time before it makes berth in the US, too.
I've had a chance to toy with it and, to be honest, it's not much better than the original. Granted, the new model is slimmer and lighter, lasts longer, introduces micro-USB charging and carries a gigabyte of internal memory...
But it has also replaced the original's beautiful OLED screen with an LCD, and while the older version feels like a premium Sony device, the Slim is a bit Samsungy. There's no major problem with the build quality, of course, but you can feel the money drained out of it.
Best PS Vita games
"Trust me though, you can't go wrong with either - the PS Vita is a glorious, fantastic, must-have handheld console"
We'll be bringing you our full PS Vita Slim review very shortly, so keep your eye out for it.
The original PS Vita is now being phased out, so get one while you still can. Trust me though, you can't go wrong with either – the PS Vita is a glorious, fantastic, must-have handheld. I go on about this all the time, I know, but it really is my most used games platform these days.
Below I've listed my five best PS Vita games, which will be more than enough to get you started if you're new to the device.
There's still a misconception that the Vita has too thin a software library, which, considering there are another ten honourable mentions beneath the list, couldn't be further from the truth.
Get this now. OlliOlli is a perfect blend of 2D autorunning and skateboarding. The challenge quickly ramps up in intensity and the desire to perform a perfect run through each stage becomes irresistible. It's the best game on Vita. You won't be able to put it down.
An exquisitely presented platform adventure by the Media Molecule team, and a reminder of just how talented the LittleBigPlanet team is. Tearaway uses every facet of the PS Vita's functionality in a way that doesn't feel it's been shoe-horned in, but more importantly it's a 3D adventure with very high standards.
Spliced with cheeky internet memes and other nods and winks, Guacamelee seems like harmless fun on face value, but underneath its exterior is a brutal 2D platformer-cum-fighter built for the hardcore. Your luchador hero has a wide range of attacking manoeuvres, from suplexes to butt-stomps, which you'll never tire of performing. He, er, can also transform into a chicken.
Metal Gear Solid HD is a fantastic package that can easily stretch beyond 50 hours. The stars of the show are Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 – iconic games of yesteryear now resplendent in wondrous HD – but as a bonus you also get the original Metal Gear (1987) and Metal Gear 2 (1990). Why fling a bunch of angered birds or point at candy on the train when you can take part in high-functioning espionage action?
Much cheaper than the recently released Rayman Legends but no less generous in value. Rayman Origins is a drop-dead gorgeous platform game, packed with interesting ideas, that feels purpose-built for 2D Mario aficionados. The presentation and perfectly balanced controls are the initial major pull, but the immense depth of challenge and collectables will keep you occupied until your fingers ache.
"The PS Vita is a beautifully designed handheld console with a growing list of amazing games"
There's a fleet of additional games that, though also available on numerous other platforms, are excellent choices.
The Roguelike platformer Spelunky is one of the most acclaimed games of the past five years, while the depravity simulator Hotline Miami is a must for those who haven't played it on PC or PS3.
For those who want something different there's the trippy exploration game Proteus, along with the quirky puzzle-platformer Thomas Was Alone.
Then there's the sublime Sound Shapes, which blurs the line between platform and rhythm-action, along with the idiosyncratic puzzle-adventure Machinarium.
Previous indie hits, from Flower to Limbo, are also worth considering, as is the system's debut flagship title Uncharted: Golden Abyss and the surprisingly excellent LittleBigPlanet Vita.
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