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PlayStation Vita won't be in UK before Christmas, says Sony

Bad news for western Sony fans -- the PlayStation Vita won't be making an appearance in Europe or the US until after Christmas, in early 2012.

Ho, ho, ho little Cravers! Come sit on Santa's knee. And what would you like for Christmas this year? Oh, ho! The PlayStation Vita handheld, eh? DENIED.

That's right, no matter how good you are, and no matter how carelessly Santa checks his naughty list, the chances of unwrapping Sony's upcoming console this yuletide morn just hit zero. A Sony rep has confirmed to press in Tokyo that the monolithic handheld won't be on sale in Europe or the US until early 2012, Bloomberg reports.

That means no Christmas launch for UK gamers.

Tragedy, right? But if it's any consolation, this is bad news for Sony too. While the Vita, previously known as the Sony NGP, will be out before the end of December in Japan, it'll miss out on the lucrative Christmas shopping period in America and Europe. Seriously, are you likely to feel like dropping over £200 on a portable games console after the winter festivities have drained your bank balance?

Our hopes were sky high that Vita would be released in the UK before Christmas, after a Blockbuster flyer appeared just a few days ago, touting a 28 October release date.

This will harm the Vita's chances of toppling the Nintendo 3DS, the Vita's rival machine and successor to the wildly popular Nintendo DS. Initial 3DS sales have been disappointing, but Nintendo could stride ahead come Christmas if it bombards shoppers with a broader game selection, cheaper price tag and a sustained marketing campaign.

It's not just Nintendo Sony should be scared of -- Apple's iPad, iPod touch and iPhone make extremely mean gaming devices, with a tonne of excellent titles available for under a quid. Android phones are closing in too.

Are you heartbroken? Angry at Sony? Let us know what you think in the comments section, or on our Facebook wall.