For the last 24 hours there has been a media frenzy regarding the PS Vita. It’s rare these days to see not only the PS Vita community but the wider gaming press so interested in our favourite console but the reports of a trademark application being submitted by Sony Computer Entertainment for a new incarnation of the PS Vita was far too tempting a news story for the wider games industry to ignore and excitement about the console grew considerably.
Sadly, all is not as it seems and the rumours of a brand new 3000-series PS Vita have turned out to be just that – rumours. The excitement was understandable – the Vita’s predecessor, the PSP, underwent several revisions in its lifespan and the Vita is already onto its second incarnation so it wasn’t unlikely that we would see a new model at some point but on closer examination the reports weren’t as positive as they first seemed.
While some doubted the date of the submission of the trademark application (1st April 2015), this wasn’t unusual for Japan as it marks the start of the financial year but what was important was the nature of the trademark application itself. Most assumed that the application was for a new console but in fact the application was a design “positional trademark”. This differs greatly from a full design trademark and looking closely at the released image and accompanying trademark submissions you will understand why. Simultaneously with the Vita submission was one for the DualShock. Specifically, in both cases, the trademark applications referred to the specific positions of the cross, square, circle and triangle buttons on a controller.
The illustrations for both were not for new hardware, controllers or consoles but were for illustrative purposes and to highlight the locations of the buttons in relation to the DualShock (both DS3 and DS4) and the Vita itself and it’s for this reason why the diagram that was used of the Vita was that of the original 1000 series (specifically the 3G model). Looking at both of the trademark documents themselves, the only part of the artwork that has not been ghosted out are the buttons themselves.
While this is certainly a disappointment to many who were expecting to hear news of a new PS Vita no doubt announced at E3 in a few months time, it doesn’t meant that there won’t be another model of the PS Vita released in the future but this trademark sadly isn’t it.