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Sony Japan Press Conference: PS4 Domestic Release, Redesigned Vita, Vita TV

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Tech Biz

Sony Japan Press Conference: PS4 Domestic Release, Redesigned Vita, Vita TV

Sony spills the beans on a new set-top box and a thinner, lighter Vita.

Sony Computer Entertainment Japan (SCEJA) hosted a press event in Tokyo today to announce the latest PlayStation 4 (PS4) and Vita developments for the company’s domestic market. In a move that elicited groans from the crowd, SCEJA announced that the PS4 would launch domestically on February 22 – three months after the next generation console arrives in the U.S. and U.K.

The PS4 will cost 41,979 yen ($420), or 46,179 yen ($463) bundled with a PlayStation Eye camera – slightly more than the U.S. base price of $399.

A redesigned PS Vita, Sony’s handheld console, was also shown off at the Tokyo press conference. It is 20 percent thinner and 15 percent lighter than the current model and comes in six different colors. The battery is said to last an hour longer than the original, and it includes 1GB of internal memory.

Sony also decided to change the updated Vita’s 5-inch display from OLED to LCD – any changes in quality will become apparent after the new handheld goes on display at Tokyo Game Show later this month.

The thinner, lighter Vita will retail for 19,929 yen ($200) and will be available in Wi-Fi only.

SCEJA saved the biggest surprise for last, revealing a white set-top box called PS Vita TV that will allow gamers to play Vita and PSP games on their TV and watch content from media partners such as Tsutaya (Japan’s most popular music and video rental chain). It will also allow live-streaming of PlayStation 4 games to a different TV than the one that the console is connected to.

In the video presentation, an actor comes home to find his friends sitting watching a movie in the living room – using the same TV that he has connected his PS4 console to. Instead of disturbing them, he simply powers on the PS4 and goes to his bedroom, where the PS Vita TV allows him to stream the game on his own television.

PS Vita TV will be released in Japan first, hitting shelves on November 14. The box by itself will cost 9,480 yen ($95) before tax, or 14,280 ($143) yen bundled with an 8GB memory card and a matching white DualShock controller. PS Vita TV could very well give Ouya and Apple TV a run for their money once given a global release.