has had its nametag ripped off and been rebranded as the -- 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, and lets you nab virtual items by checking in at real-world locales that other Vita users have visited.
For more info on the. 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 .