PlayStation Vita worldwide release is delayed by Sony

PlayStation Vita

Sony is delaying the worldwide release of its next-generation portable gaming console, the PlayStation Vita.

The firm says it won't be going on sale in Europe or the US in time for Christmas, although it will be in shops in Japan by the end of the year.

Sony had earlier promised a "phased global roll-out" starting in late 2011.

The Vita is a touch screen, motion-sensitive handheld gaming console that will replace the PlayStation Portable.

Release dates for the Vita will officially be revealed at September's Tokyo Game Show.

Sony is denying any price cut for the PlayStation Vita is planned.

That's after Nintendo slashed the cost of its 3DS less than six months after it went on sale.

"We packed so much into the device and made it very affordable," said Sony Corp. executive vice-president Kazuo Hirai.

"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."

The PlayStation Vita will cost $249 (£152) in the US for its Wi-Fi-only version and $299 (£182) for its mobile phone handset.

Delays are not uncommon in the gaming industry.

Sony held back the introduction of the PlayStation 3 on more than one occasion.

Nintendo also delayed the launch of the 3DS, which meant it wasn't ready for Christmas.