Sony has confirmed that it will be releasing its latest gaming console, PlayStation Vita in Japan on December 17.
PlayStation Vita has been developed as Sony’s answer to increasingly popular smartphones and tablet computers, as well as to compete with Apple’s iTunes, App store and usual contenders such as Nintendo.
The console will be the first gaming system to be compatible with 3G networks. The 3G version will sell for 29,980 yen, approximately $390 U.S. dollars. A Wi-Fi version will also be available for 24,980 yen, or approximately $325 U.S. dollars.
The North America and Europe releases of PS Vita are currently scheduled for an undisclosed date next year. Sony has stated that those releases definitely will not be in time for the Christmas holiday shopping season.
Sony has spaced global release dates far apart to allow for continuous availability of the console, analysts detail.
In the U.S., the Wi-Fi version of PS Vita will be priced at $249 and the 3G version will be priced at $299.
Sony plans to release 100 new game titles to go with PS Vita. Twenty-six titles will accompany the Japan release.
PS Vita’s specs include: a five-inch (12.7 cm) multi-touch OLED (organic light emitting diode) screen with a pad on the back for "touch, grab, trace, push and pull" finger motions. The handset also has front and rear facing cameras, according to AFP.
Users will be able to watch videos, listen to music and connect to the Internet as well as to social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
"The attractiveness of this console, which will allow the public to further expand their concept of video gaming, will depend mostly on the imagination of content creators," CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, Hiroshi Kawano said at a press conference in Tokyo Wednesday.