updated 08:05 pm EDT, Tue October 18, 2011
Sony commits to PS Vita launch date in Americas
Sony gave good news to gamers and said it would ship the PlayStation Vita outside of Japan on February 22. The US, Canada, Europe, and Latin America will all get the quad-core gaming system on the same day. Prices in the US, and likely Canada, will start at $250 for a Wi-Fi version and bump up to $299 for a model with 3G.
The Vita is shipping to Japan late this year but was delayed for other countries, most likely due to supply and game support concerns. Most of the first wave of games will be sequels in known PlayStation game lineups, such as Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Resistance: Burning Skies, and Wipeout.
A move to early next year will still be risky for Sony as it continues to shed its share in mobile gaming. Of Apple's iPods shipped just this summer, more than three million were iPod touches, many of which were bought with gaming as a focus. As such, Apple currently has a larger platform than Nintendo and Sony combined, even when limited to those who play games more regularly.
Sony is mostly counting on raw performance for the Vita, which with the quad-core chip and matching quad graphics should outpace most phones for the next several months or more. Its speed has been described as only slightly slower than a PS3 and often lets developers port PS3 games nearly unchanged outside of shrinking the content to fit flash memory sticks. A five-inch OLED touchscreen is likewise one of the biggest of any non-tablet device.