PS Vita’s Western Launch Set For Early 2012, Japan Launch Still on For Late 2011

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Any dreams you may have had about waking up Christmas morning with a shiny new PlayStation Vita waiting for you under the tree have, sadly, been crushed. Well, that is if you live outside of Japan.

According to an Associated Press report today, Sony Executive Vice President Kazuo Hirai has confirmed that the Vita will still be launching by end of 2011…but only in Japan. Eager gamers in the U.S. and Europe won’t be able to get their grubby paws on the sexy new portable until early 2012.

This is sad news for us out West, but it’s hardly surprising, and it certainly isn’t deserving of the usual anti-Sony backlash that is sure to come (it’s probably already out there, I just haven’t looked yet). Sony previously only said that the Vita’s “phased global rollout” would begin this year, and if you look back at previous systems, Sony has always launched in Japan months ahead of other regions. I’m pretty sure the PS3 was Sony’s only console to launch in Japan and the U.S. at the same time. So the writing was clearly on the wall that the chances of a simultaneous global launch were slim.

Sony’s only explanation so far for the rollout is that it wants to be “prepared with solid game software offerings timed with the hardware launches.” Perhaps they’ve learned a bit from Nintendo, who rushed the 3DS out the door with a lacking game library and unfinished online features, and is now paying a steep price for it.

Launching game consoles is tricky business, y’all. Only time will tell if Sony’s phased launch strategy is a wise move or a missed opportunity to capitalize on Nintendo’s slow 3DS start with a big holiday sales haul. Whenever it does finally come out, I’m still buying one.

Sony portable not ready by Christmas in US, Europe [MSN Money]

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