Sony has said that the PlayStation Vita will launch globally at the end of this year, and further indicated that it will arrive this fall, but still hasn't gotten any more specific. Now, a Blockbuster flier obtained by IGN suggests that the PS Vita will actually arrive on Friday October 28, 2011 in the UK.
The advertisement suggests that both Vita models will arrive in Europe after two months. It's not clear what this means for other countries, such as the US and Japan. North America will likely get the portable gaming system after Asia, if history tells us anything. Either way, everyone should be able to get it before 2011 ends.
It's very likely that Sony will have the Vita out to all before the critical 2011 holiday season. Even if it doesn't though, we know that the device is region-free, meaning can purchase a game and system from any two different regions and they will be compatible.
Sony is promising that the PS Vita will give a PS3-level experience with a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor and a multi-core PowerVR SGX543MP4 graphics chip four times faster than the PSP's. The device will come with a 5-inch OLED screen (950 x 544 resolution), two micro-analog sticks to simulate the Dual Shock experience, front and rear facing cameras, and two-finger multitouch pad on the back of the machine. Sony is hoping the front and rear touch screens will offer new three dimension-like motion gameplay experiences never before seen on any device through "touch, grab, trace, push and pull" finger motions. A Sixaxis equivalent with a gyroscope and accelerometer is also available to let players control games by moving and tilting the system itself.
In terms of connectivity you can expect built-in 3G in addition to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, as well as GPS support. The PS Vita will come with a pre-installed app called Party, which lets you use voice chat or text chat when gaming, using other apps, or browsing the Internet. Another app, called Near, will let you share your game information with other users and add them as friends.
The Wi-Fi model will be available for 25,000 yen (including tax) in Japan, $250.00 in the US, and €250.00 in Europe, while the 3G/Wi-Fi model will be available for 30,000 yen (including tax) in Japan, $300.00 in the US and €300.00 in Europe. Exact release dates are still unknown, but if the leaks have started, it won't be long now before Sony announces the official ones.