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PlayStation Vita will be region free

Sony has confirmed that its upcoming PS Vita console will be region free, meaning you can play games from other countries.

Sony's upcoming PlayStation Vita console is going to be region-free, meaning you'll be able to play games from anywhere in the world on the powerful handheld.

The news was confirmed by a Sony exec via Twitter. When asked by a user of the micro-blogging service, "Is it confirmed yet if Vita is region free?" Sony's president of worldwide studios Shuhei Yoshida replied, "Yes, it is."

Being region-free means you'll be able to import Vita games that don't come out in your country. So if there's some bizarre Japanese brain-training cat recipe RPG that will never be sold in the western world, you could buy it online and it will run just fine on your console.

This also means if you can't wait for the Vita to come out in the UK, you could buy it from Japan when it launches there on 17 December, and have it in time for Christmas.

Yoshida did go on to tweet a few words of caution though, saying, "There are people who are interested in importing the Japanese version of PS Vita from outside Japan, but I personally do not recommend that.

"From my experience owning both US and (Japanese) game consoles of everything, there tend to be minor nuisances... Like inconsistency between the use of X and O buttons between system software and games."

Over here the Vita isn't due to land until 2012 though, so we suspect many gamers will be happy to run the risk of minor nuisance in their haste to get their hands on the new console.

The Nintendo 3DS, by contrast, is region-locked, meaning the Vita will be the device of choice for import maniacs. Meanwhile, we've heard that the Vita will offer just 3-5 hours of battery life, although the 3DS is just as rubbish power-wise.

Would you buy a Japanese PlayStation Vita? Or would you not touch one with a kendo stick? Let us know in the comments section below, or on our Facebook wall.