Sony's next generation gaming console will launch in North American on November 15, nearly a full month earlier than previous rumors indicated, and in Europe and Latin America two weeks later on November 29. The announcement was made during a press conference at the Gamescom event in Germany earlier today.

The console will be available in 32 countries in time for the holiday season according to Sony chief Andrew House. He also noted that gamers have placed more than a million pre-orders for the upcoming console, a response that he said has been nothing short of incredible.

Microsoft has yet to announce a release date for the Xbox One outside of saying it will be available in November. For what it's worth, EA said during their Gamescom event that Need For Speed: Rivals, an Xbox One launch title, would debut on November 21. We'll leave you to draw your own conclusions on that one.

Elsewhere, Sony is slashing the price of their PlayStation Vita handheld in an effort to spur sales. The company confirmed during the same press conference that the Vita will now sell for $199 although it was unclear if that applied to specifically to the $249 Wi-Fi only model or if the $299 3G model was included.

The Vita will drop to $199 starting tomorrow in the US and Europe. Sony announced a similar price drop in Japan back in late February to boost sales of the struggling handheld. Both the Wi-Fi and the 3G version were reduced to 19,980 yen ($214) so odds are good that Sony will sell both versions for the same price under the latest price cut.