It looks like American and European gamers are going to have to wait a little longer than expected to get their hands on Sony’s new handheld device.
The PlayStation Vita will launch in the U.S. and Europe sometime in early 2012. Sony had previously planned to launch the Vita in 2011. Of course, this push-back will means that the Vita will not be available for purchase during the 2011 holiday season – a big loss for Sony.
Except in Japan. According to Bloomberg, the initial launch of the Vita will occur in Japan “before the end of December.”
The PlayStation brand has become a bigger part of Sony’s revenue over the last few years. Last year, 40% of Sony’s Christmas revenue came from the U.S and Europe.
“The PlayStation business is a key pillar,” said Sony’s Kazuo Hirai. “The video-game industry is evolving constantly. My expectation is for the PlayStation business to remain at the forefront of this very dynamic industry.”
If his name sounds very familiar, it’s because he was one of the main PR voices and man-of-apology during the PlayStation Network hacking debacle that crippled Sony’s online gaming community for weeks.
The Vita will launch (eventually) with a 5-inch OLED touch screen and a rear touch pad. It will feature GPS and wi-fi capabilities along with a front and rear camera. As long as you are playing compatible titles, you will be able to enjoy continuous gameplay between the Vita and your PS3.
Unlike Nintendo who recently said they will slash the price of their handheld Nintendo 3DS from $249 to $169, Sony says that they won’t be lowering the price of the Vita. It will start at $249 and go up to $299 for the 3G and wi-fi model.