Sony's PlayStation Vita to miss holidays in US, Europe

Sony admitted Thursday that its upcoming PlayStation Vita handheld console would miss the holidays in both the US and European markets, although it still would be on track to release by the end of the year in Japan. The company had said just last month that the PlayStation Portable's successor would arrive for that all important retail season.

The Vita ships in both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi+3G models through a deal with AT&T. It sports the familiar Sony controller interface with an OLED touchscreen, and adds a rear-mounted touchpad and six-axis motion sensors. A quad-core ARM processor and GX 543MP4+ graphics processor support the gaming experience.

Gaming chief Kazuo Hirai declined to specify a reason for the delay, but did mention that Sony was busy ensuring a solid lineup of games for the device. It would also not be too far fetched to speculate that the massive earthquake that hit Japan in March could still be causing some supply constraints for Sony as it is for many other manufacturers.

Delays such as this one occur frequently in the gaming industry. Nintendo's newest handheld -- the 3DS -- was also delayed past the holiday shopping season last year, and Sony had delayed its PlayStation 3 set-top console several times before finally releasing it.

Whether this will have an effect on Vita sales is hard to say. It could be argued that the delays to the PS3 is what has caused it to fall far enough behind its competitors so that it would likely never catch up in sales. While the delays to the 3DS might have also hurt sales, one could probably argue that Nintendo misjudged the demand for 3D, which could be playing a bigger role in its sluggish sales.

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