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PlayStation Vita release date may disappoint those in the US and Europe

A few days ago we had some more details of what to expect of Sony’s new upcoming handheld gaming device, we also had some rumors of the device being released towards the end of October. Now following comments from Sony, the PlayStation Vita release date may disappoint those in the US and Europe.

Many were hoping the device will be available in time for the busy holiday season, but The Washington Post is reporting that Sony Corp. Executive Vice President Kazuo Hirai, has said the PlayStation Vita will be available in the US and Europe early next year. He did say the unit should be launched in Japan by the end of 2011.

The reason the PlayStation Vita won’t be available before Christmas, is that Sony wants to make sure they have a strong lineup of titles available for the launch. This was a big criticism of Nintendo when they first launched the 3DS, and has since seen the console struggle with sales that will see the price dropping soon.

Sony is not seeing it as a delay, and it is unclear if even Japan will see it in time for Christmas 2011. Hirai did make it clear that Sony were not thinking of lowering the launch price of the Vita despite of Nintendo’s recent actions. He told reporters Sony have packed lots of features into the device but kept “it very affordable”.

In the US the Vita will start at $249 for the Wi-Fi only model, going up to $299 with 3G compatibility. This mirrors what happened with the PlayStation 3 that was delayed a couple of times before release, even though Sony are not looking at this as a delay for the Vita.

Meanwhile EuroGamer are reporting that Sony’s European R&D manager, Phil Rogers, has said that gamers will be able to use the PlayStation Vita as a controller for PS3 games. Similar to the Wii U the PS3 will be able to send data to the Vita and then display it. Using the features of the Vita players can then use it as a control device for a PS3 game.

Were you hoping the PlayStation Vita would be available in time for the holiday season this year? Or would you prefer to see a good lineup of games when the device launches?

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