Sony Corp. said Thursday that its long-awaited PlayStation Vita won't be available in time for the critical holiday shopping season in the U.S. or Europe.
Kazuo Hirai, chief of Sony Computer Entertainment, told reporters in Tokyo that the device will initially launch in Japan before the end of December followed by U.S. and Europe early next year, according to Bloomberg news. The company had previously said it planned a phased global rollout of the Vita from the end of this year, but didn't elaborate.
Sony generated more than 40 percent of its revenue in its last fiscal year from the U.S. and Europe.
The PlayStation Vita is the successor to Sony's PSP and features a five-inch OLED touch screen. The portable will offer improved graphics over the PSP, and include touchpads on the front and back to enhance gameplay, CNET said. Built-in cameras will allow the device to support augmented reality.
The delay could help rival Nintendo, which has been struggling with poor sales of its 3DS handheld gaming system. Nintendo sold only 710,000 of the 3DS in the U.S. between April and June -- a number it expected to sell in the first week. The tepid sales forced the company to drop the device's price, to $169.99 from $249.99.
Despite Nintendo's price drop, Sony said it doesn't plan on lowering the Vita's $249.99 starting price.
"There's no need to lower the price, just because someone else that happens to be in the videogame business decided that they were going to," Hirai told Bloomberg.
Sony also said Thursday it won't dump its television business, despite losses for the eight straight year. The company has pared its factories down, but the company is still in capable of turning a profit and may never be able to, according to one analyst.
"They have done an awful lot already, and this was the time when that effort was supposed to come to fruition," Nomura Securities analyst Shiro Mikoshiba told Reuters. "It's honestly hard to know what else they could do."