Sony confirms UK PlayStation Vita launch date

Sony has confirmed a UK launch date and pricing for the PlayStation Vita, its next-generation touch-screen games console - and if you wanted to get your hands on one before Christmas, you're out of luck.

The Vita, which packs a powerful processor behind a large touch-screen alongside a rear touch-panel, numerous buttons and analogue sticks, plus the option of 3G connectivity for on-the-go gaming, is due to hit the UK on the 22nd of February.

The date was confirmed by Sony's Jack Tretton at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, and was joined by pricing information from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe for both the 3G and Wi-Fi only models.

For the Wi-Fi model, buyers will be expected to shell out £229.99, while the 3G version will cost an extra £50 at £279.99. Thus far, Sony hasn't confirmed if there will be any cost associated with the use of the 3G connectivity.

While the 3G version seems like the one to choose, Sony has previously indicated that its functionality will be crippled: gamers will be able to use the 3G connection for many tasks, except downloading games and updates thanks to a 20MB file size limit. For anything larger, a Wi-Fi connection is required.

Despite some disappointments, excitement is generally high for the console - and that's something Sony needs, with its existing PlayStation Portable range stagnating and its PSPGo re-vamp dead in the water.