PS Vita to be released in Japan on December 17

Sony's upcoming PS Vita portable game console now has a specific release date for Japanese gamers. VG247.com reports that the company will launch the console on December 17 in its native country. Sony had previously revealed that the PS Vita would not be released by the end of the year in the US and Europe. Today's announcement was made as part of a Sony press conference prior to the start of Tokyo Game Show, which begins on Thursday. Pricing for the WiFi only version of the PS Vita will be 24,980 yen while the WiFi and 3G version will have a price of 29,980 yen.

In addition to the Japanese launch date and prices, Sony also announced that it will allow users in Japan to pre-pay for the console's 3G wireless service. Sony will offer 20 hours or 100 hours of 3G wireless time for the PS Vita via the NTT DoCoMo wireless carrier. Last June at E3 2011, Sony announced that AT&T will be the 3G wireless provider when the PS Vita is launched in the US, but no wireless pricing plans were revealed at that time.

In related news, Sony also announced that the PS Vita would have an average battery life of between 3 to 5 hours while playing a game with a 5 hour battery life when playing a video. Playing music or putting the PS Vita in standby mode will extend the battery time to 9 hours. It will also take about 2 hours and 40 minutes to fully charge the console's battery. Finally Eurogamer reports that Sony will have 26 games available for the PS Vita's Japanese launch. Six of those games will be downloadable only; the others will be available via download or sold in retail stores in storage card form.

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Well, the first missteps from the PS Vita are taking place now. Only a "3-5 hour" battery life, which I'd translate to 4 hours (the PSP also has a 4 hour battery life). Hopefully, that can be remedied with some third-party batteries. Definitely works on the PSP; I've got a third-party battery that lasts for 12 hours of gameplay.


The next misstep comes in the form of the cost for some of the peripherals they've announced, especially the memory cards...

Memory card 4GB - December 17, 2011 / 2,200 yen (£18)
Memory card 8GB - December 17, 2011 / 3,200 yen (£26.40)
Memory card 16GB - December 17, 2011 / 5,500 yen (£45.40)
Memory card 32GB - December 17, 2011 / 9,500 yen (£78.30)
AC adaptor - December 17, 2011 / 1,800 yen (£14.80)
USB cable - December 17, 2011 / 1,300 yen (£10.70)
Cradle - December 17, 2011 / 2,800 yen (£23.10)
In-ear headset - December 17, 2011 / 2,800 yen (£23.10)
Protective film - December 17, 2011 / 800 yen (£6.60)
Card case - December 17, 2011 / 600 yen (£4.90)
Case - December 17, 2011 / 1,800 yen (£14.80)
Pouch - December 17, 2011 / 1,500 yen (£12.40)
Travel pouch with cleaning cloth and wrist strap - December 17, 2011 / 2,300 yen (£19)
Carrying pouch (black) - December 17, 2011 / 1,800 yen (£14.80)
Car adaptor - spring 2012 / TBD
Portable charger - spring 2012 / TBD


So, nearly £80 for a 32GB memory card. For comparison's sake, you can now get a 32GB SDHC card for less than £30. And just to throw it in there, I recently bought a 16GB Class 10 (basically meaning "high-speed") SDHC card for less than £15; 3x less than what Sony are planning to charge for their own card.

With all this coming out, it makes me glad I'm not planning to buy a Vita as soon as it comes out. I'll play the same waiting game I did with the PSP; wait a year or two for the price to drop, and custom firmware to hit the device, and then I'll be all over it. Besides, I've got a lovely HP TouchPad to tide me over until then!

Sooooo.... How much do we wanna bet that the sony fanboys who previously bashed the 3ds for its 3-5 hour battery life will go about praising sony and saying the vita's perfect despite the fact that its battery life will actually be slightly worse when gaming once you enable wifi/3g?

Blackhearted said,
Sooooo.... How much do we wanna bet that the sony fanboys who previously bashed the 3ds for its 3-5 hour battery life will go about praising sony and saying the vita's perfect despite the fact that its battery life will actually be slightly worse when gaming once you enable wifi/3g?
It looks like it will also it will take just as long to recharge the battery.

Blackhearted said,
Sooooo.... How much do we wanna bet that the sony fanboys who previously bashed the 3ds for its 3-5 hour battery life will go about praising sony and saying the vita's perfect despite the fact that its battery life will actually be slightly worse when gaming once you enable wifi/3g?

Well, just like the phones I've had, I was okay when my newest phone had a crappy battery life because it was so much better than the other phones I had previously. This is pretty much how I feel about the 3DS / Vita situation to be honest.

average battery life of 3-5 hours.........useless, but expected given the hardware its packing, cant think of many situations i would bring a ps-vita to.., yet to factor in the fact that most manufacturers overstate the battery life (assume you are idling on whatever is being measured) nor battery deterioration through use..