news\ Jan 28, 2012 at 11:11 am

PS Vita designer: "The original Vita design was thinner"


Sony's PlayStation Vita, which is already making its rounds in Japan and is set to launch next month here in North America, has a very familiar design. While the handheld gaming device sports a snazzy 5-inch screen and dual analog sticks, it's very PSP-like in its design. But it wasn't always like that. In an interview with The Guardian, designer Takashi Sogabe, revealed some insight on the Vita's original designs.

"The original design of the PS Vita, for example, was very much thinner than the current retail product," explained Sogabe, who is also responsible for the original Walkman's design. "From a designer's point of view, thinner is better-looking, but the engineers wanted to put all the features in. Maybe it will become thinner in the future, but the engineers would have to come up with a means to do that."

Sogabe also revealed that a clamshell design for the Vita was a possibility, but it was ultimately decided to keep the familiar shape of the PSP instead. "We came up with various patterns, including a clamshell one," said the designer. "Then we discussed it with a lot of publishers and settled on this shape."

It's crazy to think of the different designs Sony had in mind for the Vita before settling on its current look. Another interesting tidbit is the fact that prior to settling on a 5-inch screen, a larger 5.5-inch screen was being discussed. Ultimately, that was scrapped, too, and that's probably for the best, because portable devices are supposed to be, well, portable.

One thing I really hope to see down the road is a slimmer version of the Vita with all of its features intact. I think it can happen, and chances are it will once Sony figures out how to cram all the cool functionality of the Vita into a smaller shell.

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