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Sony delays PlayStation Vita, price cut rumoured

Sony is delaying the worldwide release of its eagerly awaited new portable gaming console, the PlayStation Vita, amid rumours that the company is planning a price cut to compete with the newly-discounted Nintendo 3DS.

While the next-gen gadget will be on sale in shops in Japan by the end of the year, it won't be available in Europe or the in time for Christmas.

The touchscreened, motion-sensitive Vita will replace the existing PlayStation Portable (PSP) handheld. Sony originally planned a "phased global roll-out" of the device beginning in November 2011.

The electronics giant denies that any price-cutting plans are afoot, despite news that Nintendo has slashed the cost of its 3DS less than six months after its launch.

"There is no need to lower the price just because somebody else that happens to be in the video game business decided that they were going to lower their price," insisted Sony executive vice-president Kazuo Hirai.

UK retailer GAME recently announced it would be selling the PlayStation Vita for £229.99 (Wi-Fi version) and £279.99 (3G) - a bit of a rip-off, considering US consumers have been promised the handheld variants for $249 (£152) and $299 (£182), respectively.