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PlayStation Vita is the new name for the Sony NGP, and it'll cost around £250

Sony's NGP console has been rebranded the PlayStation Vita, will be out by the end of the year, and will cost €250 for the Wi-Fi version and €300 for a console with 3G capabilities.

Sony's NGP console has had its nametag ripped off and been rebranded as the Sony PlayStation Vita -- a name designed to conjure up images of vitality, babbling brooks and breezy green pastures. Probably.

Doing a dainty little press dance at the E3 gaming conference in LA, Sony also announced that Vita would be on sale worldwide before the end of the year, and would cost €250 for the Wi-Fi only version, and €300 for a console that also packs 3G capabilities. We estimate that for UK pricing, you'll probably be able to convert those Euros to pound signs.

That's a fairly aggressive price tag considering how much hardware's crammed inside the Vita. Sony's similarly advanced PlayStation 3 console was astronomically more expensive than its rivals when it first launched, and the company isn't making the same mistake again. Vita's up against the Nintendo 3DS -- now around £160 -- so Sony will be keen to keep prices low.

We would expect the price to drop closer to launch -- the 3DS was expected to retail at about £230, but most high-street prices dipped below the £200 mark by the time it went on sale. The original PSP debuted at £150, more than six years ago. Heavens, that makes us feel old.

While the price isn't outrageous, we're gutted to learn that the new handheld will cost $250 for our US cousins, and $300 for the 3G version. Even bearing in mind VAT, that's ridiculous. Sony, we strongly suggest you click this link.

Other features for the Vita, which rocks a mahoosive 5-inch OLED touchscreen and a touch-sensitive trackpad on the back, include a pre-installed app called 'Party' that lets you voice-chat online. A geolocation-style app, logically called 'Near', shows you which Vita games people are playing in your vicinity, similar to the 3DS' StreetPass, and lets you nab virtual items by checking in at real-world locales that other Vita users have visited.

For more info on the PlayStation Vita check out our full preview. Perhaps the news of this new console can turn Sony's fortunes around -- the Japanese tech giant's had an abysmal run of luck recently, with its PlayStation Network service being hacked into tiny pieces.

Are you keen on this console? Or are portable games consoles, like, so 1989, man. Let us know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.