Sony continues its trend of releasing the solid expensive looking (and usually actually expensive) model of the console first then aggressively trimming bits off for a cheaper model later. The first PS3 model (the original “fat” model) is regarded as the best one you can have with its PS2 backwards compatibility and general solid build (though mine blew up).
The new Vita drops the amazing OLED screen but Sony have said LCD has progressed since the original and LCD will match the old (great) screen, we shall see. Other changes include a not very important memory increase (everybody puts a memory card in the vita anyway) and its thinner….oh and most importantly cheaper.
At the very least it shows that Sony are behind the Vita for more years and actively promoting it.