The first credible report of a specific launch date for the successor to Sony's PSP system has surfaced. Gaming website IGN has reportedly received an internal flier from Blockbuster in the UK which lists the Vita with a solid release date of October 28.
Sony revealed a lot of information about the Vita in June at E3, including its official name, 3G exclusivity with AT&T, and the $250 base-level US price point. But one thing it specifically did not say is when the device will be coming out.
The most precise we were able to get was a targeted holiday 2011 release.
The UK flier of course only applies to the UK market, but Sony has a history of releasing new gaming hardware across the US and Europe within days of each other. However, the Vita may be a different story because Sony has reported having inventory issues in its Japan manufacturing facility as a result of the year's earlier extreme weather.
The Vita has already been called Sony's potentially last game-specific mobile device. The company has already started pouring resources into Android and has been working with bringing Playstation connectivity to its sister mobile company Sony Ericsson.
However, the Vita offers several features that most traditional smartphones can't, such as a dedicated game-launching memory card slot, dual joysticks, a touch-sensitive panel on the back of the device, and the ability to sell at low prices without a mobile carrier subsidy.