updated 08:45 am EDT, Thu August 4, 2011
PS Vita international launch to start in 2012
Sony deputy Kaz Hirai has told Bloomberg that its anticipated PlayStation Vita handheld will miss the important Christmas shopping season in the key US and European markets. Hirai confirmed, however, that the PS Vita would launch in its home market of Japan before the end of 2011. The phased international rollout would begin after the Japanese launch in early 2012.
Hirai maintains that although Sony needs to work on keeping the cost of its product portfolio in check to maintain its competitiveness, the PS Vita will retain its $249 price tag on launch. This is despite Nintendo recently slashing the cost of the PS Vita's main competitor the 3DS handheld console from $250 to around $170.
Both companies also face increasing competition from Apple, almost by stealth, with its three-pronged iOS strategy in the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch all making increasing inroads into gaming the territory once dominated by the Japanese gaming giants.