Sony will face another economic setback this year, as its next-generation portable game machine, the PlayStation Vita, won’t be globally available in time for the holiday season, which is a crucial sales period for console makers.
The Japan-based corporation had promised a global release starting later this year, however Sony Corp. Executive Deputy President Kazuo Hirai announced today the console will go on sale by the end of the year in Japan and early next year in the U.S. and Europe. Hirai was not specific about dates.
The Vita will support both Wi-Fi and 3G exclusively on AT&Ts data network, granting users more than 2,400 AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots. The device will sport a 5-inch OLED Touchscreen with a 960 x 544 (qHD) resolution. It will be powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex A9 processor and will feature dual cameras, thumbsticks and touchpads. The PlayStation Vita will also have a social networking element, allowing players two-way chat and virtual item sharing between games. Relatively inexpensive, the Vita Wi-Fi unit will cost $250, while the 3G Vita will cost $300 at launch.
In a preview of the Vita at this year’s E3, Brighthand was able to experience the rear-touchpad on the device, allowing for a control alternative, and its rear-camera augmented reality capabilities.
The delay of the touch-interface and motion-sensitive handheld Vita comes at a difficult time for Sony, as the company reported a 15.1 billion yen (approximately $195 million) loss for the April-June quarter. The company is still facing problems due to the March disasters in north-eastern Japan.
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