Those anticipating Sony’s latest foray into the handheld realm – the PlayStation Vita – have longed to get a release date confirmation. Sony announced that the handheld would launch in Japan this December, however they remained quiet in regards to any other territories. Now, after months of waiting, Sony has finally announced that the PlayStation Vita will hit stores outside of Japan on February 22nd, 2012 and not in January as rumored earlier this week..

The PlayStation Vita will be available in two SKUs; players can either purchase the $299 3G model or opt for the $249 Wi-fi only model. At launch, the Vita will be limited to the Crystal Black color model Sony has shown off  ever since the Vita’s inception, so don’t expect to see the system available in a multitude of colors. Both models will include the standard USB cable, AC adapter, and a power cord.

The Vita will also launch with a variety of social networking features including Skype, Twitter and Facebook. For those who aren’t interested in the social networking aspects of the system, they can look forward to the Vita’s impressive line up of titles, including the recently-revealed Modnation Racers: Road Trip.

This comes as good news to PlayStation fans worldwide as now they will not need to consider importing the Vita – a move Sony World Wide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida doesn’t reccommend, mostly due to the discrepancies between Japanese and North American games.

Sony has said in the past that they believe the Vita will be able to challenge the dominance smartphones have on the handheld industry. Now that the Vita finally has a launch date, we can see if Sony’s system will be up to the challenge. Make no mistake, the Vita will certainly be one of the most impressive handhelds to date, but whether or not it coaxes more casual gamers away from Angry Birds remains to be seen.

In any case, we at Game Rant can’t wait to see what new features Sony brings to the table when the PlayStation Vita lands in February. Will you be picking it up?

The PlayStation Vita launches just about everywhere outside of Japan on February 22nd, 2012.

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyMole

tags: Sony, Vita

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