Exciting news for current PS Vita owners and future owners alike: Patent Bolt is reporting that on Feb. 7, a new patent application of Sony's was published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The patent, which was filed under the code 55977, shows off a redesign of the handheld gaming device, now featuring an HDMI port (likely for streaming to your television), USB connection and 4G LTE. GamerExchange has also released a set of rumors that confirm the above patent information, as well as additional information about the new model:
- A new 4G LTE model of the PlayStation Vita will be replacing the 3G model sometime this year. According to the source, this will be the so-called "price drop" that has been rumored for the Vita as the new model will retain the $299 price point for an upgraded system.
- The Wi-Fi version will still be available on the market for $249
- To go along with the 4G model, a significant firmware update will go live bringing in a lot of requested features including new ways to organize apps in folders.
- The new model may be unveiled along with the rumored PS4 this month at PlayStation's February 20th event or at E3, but will not hit the market until later in the year.
- A price cut on memory cards will be made. No details on prices.
VGLeaks speculates, in contrast to the above rumors, that the announcement of a new Vita model may constitute a price drop in current 3G/Wifi models, while Jordan Erica Webber at Gameranx notes than it would be more ideal for Sony's proprietary Vita memory cards to receive a price drop, as they currently "cost a fortune." Current memory cards come in sizes of 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB, with prices ranging from $24.99 to $99.99.
One of the aforementioned rumors hypothesizes that the new model will be announced at Sony's "Future of Playstation" press event on Feb. 20, where the Playstation 4 is also expected to be officially announced.