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The PlayStation Vita, the successor to Sony's PSP handheld, will not be out by the holidays in North America or Europe. Sony has decided to push the launch to next year for both regions.
The handheld was expected to be released worldwide by the end of the year. Sony expects the Vita to hit stores in Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan in 2011. All other Asian territories will, like us Westerners, get it early next year.
One effect of the delay is that it leaves the Nintendo 3DS without its major competitior this holiday season in certain parts of the globe. Nintendo recently announced that they're cutting the price of the 3DS to $169.99. This cut will make the 3DS $80 cheaper than the Wi-Fi-only model of the PS Vita and $130 cheaper than the 3G model. Sony will not be matching their rival's surprise move, though.
"We packed so much into the device and made it very affordable," Sony executive vice president Kazuo Hirai told reporters today at the company's headquarters (via MSN. "There is no need to lower the price just because somebody else that happens to be in the video game business decided that they were going to lower their price."
The PS Vita features a rear touch pad, dual analog sticks, front and rear cameras, and Sixaxis motion sensing among other toys. It is backwards-compatible with PlayStation Portable downloadable games. The PSP's UMDs can't be used on it, though; Vita software will make use of a new flash card format.