has reportedly set a Japanese launch date of Dec. 17 for its new PlayStation Vita handheld gaming device, as the precursor to a global rollout in 2012.
On Wednesday, the day before the start of the Tokyo Game Show, Hiroshi Kawano, Sony Computer Entertainment Japan president, announced the launch plans to reporters.
The PS Vita is expected to go on sale in the United States and Europe in early 2012, but no specific launch dates were revealed for those markets, according to a Reuters report.
Originally announced at the start of the year, the PS Vita will launch with 26 software titles. Japan's mobile carrier, NTT Docomo, will offer prepaid 3G plans for the device.
Sony said in August that it would not reduce the originally announced price of $325 (for a Wi-Fi only version) and $390 (for a 3G version) for the PS Vita, after competitors began slashing price on their players in the weakened portable game market.