Sony had a powerful E3 presentation where Vita brought hope to all Sony fans and even myself that innovation had once again found itself ingrained within the Sony handheld's precious metals. While that seems to still be true, no one here in the US or Europe should expect to have their anxiety curbed this holiday season, according to Sony Executive Vice President Kazuo Hirai.
Despite the fact that Hirai announced at E3 the Vita would be available "starting from the holiday season this year," he made another announcement on August 4th that this would not be the case. The US and Europe but more importantly, the US, shouldn't expect Vita to grace store shelves until early next year. Missing out on the retail golden quarter might have certain ramifications for the Vita, more on that after the break.
In the transition from PSP (PlayStation Portable) to NGP (Next Generation Portable) Sony had an opportunity to revitalize their handheld gaming devices which they took great advantage of with the debut of Vita at E3 this year. We got to see what Vita was all about and it wasn't just graphics for once. The addition of touch controls and PSN functionality went a long way in positioning Vita to compete with the 3DS, which will enjoy a hefty price drop and virtually uncontested reign in the portable gaming markets here in the US and Europe.
As always with Sony devices, Japan will see the Vita before anyone else and many happy Japanese will be unwrapping them under the Bonsai tree this year. For whatever reason, Sony isn't getting Vita in US and European hands this year. Unfortunately they aren't just missing out on golden quarter sales, they are missing out on the golden opportunity they created at E3 this year to capitalize on the momentum for a strong launch.