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.