Sony’s PS Vita was expected to launch this holiday season. But according to notices from customers who pre-ordered the new handheld console from Amazon, the release date is set for December 31 with an expected arrival date on January 4, 2011. The alarming notices from the large online retailer suggest that the PS Vita may not ship as planned this winter, missing the vital holiday shopping season. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there’s probably nothing to worry about.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal earlier this year, Sony Japan representative Satoshi Fukuoka responded to rumors that Japan’s earthquake might delay the release of the PS Vita, saying that he expects “no impact from the quake on our launch plan.” That plan, is still to push for a worldwide Q4 2011 launch.
But more importantly, according to regular Amazon patrons, the December 31 release date sent to early adopters is most likely a simple placeholder date that will be adjusted and updated accordingly once Sony has officially announced the date when the PS Vita will actually launch. So while it may be tempting to panic over the PS Vita’s possible late launch, we advise any pre-orderers to sit tight and wait. Q4 is still a ways away.
Above: Here’s a screenshot snapped from Amazon. When there's no official release date, it's common to see placeholder release dates. This one shows that The Last Guardian will release on December 31, 2011
Although it’s not entirely impossible that the PS Vita may miss Sony’s targeted Q4 launch, it seems that the company simply has too much riding on a release during this year's holiday shopping season – and the theory that the December 31 launch date cited from Amazon pre-order notices is just a placeholder date seems much more plausible. If we’re wrong, I’ll do my best to eat my PS Vita as punishment in January 2012. I swear.
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