PlayStation Vita not hitting US, Europe until 2012

Japanese launch of new handheld still expected this year; Hirai says no price cut planned in wake of Nintendo's 3DS price drop.

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Gamers' hopes may have been bolstered by recent rumors that Sony's PlayStation Vita would be making its North American and European debuts this year, but Sony executive deputy president Kaz Hirai put an end to that today.

Coming soon. Just maybe not as soon as hoped.
Coming soon. Just maybe not as soon as hoped.

According to an Associated Press report, Hirai told reporters today that the PS Vita will not be ready for its international rollout this year. Instead, Sony is planning to launch the system in Japan later this year, with North American and European debuts to follow in early 2012. Previously, Sony had simply said the PS Vita would "successively launch in [the] global market starting [at] the end of 2011."

When it launches, the PS Vita will come in two different retail configurations: a high-speed 3G model and a Wi-Fi-only model. The top-end 3G model, which boasts a mobile broadband connection, will cost $299 (¥29,980, €299). The Wi-Fi model will cost $249 (¥24,980, €249). While Nintendo recently slashed the price of its own 3DS, Hirai said Sony would be standing firm on the PS Vita price point.

"We packed so much into the device and made it very affordable," Hirai said. "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."

Check out GameSpot's full rundown of the Vita for more on what to expect from the handheld.

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