We know that the Sony PlayStation Vita won't be arriving in time for Christmas in the western world, Sony Corp's executive vice president Kazuo Hirai told us so.

But the good news is that you should be able to pick one up in time for the new year, with Amazon pricing up the console and also suggesting a 31 December launch date.

That date appears on the US Amazon site and, although there's no mention of it on the .co.uk variety, we know that a widespread release is pencilled in following the Japan launch in late-2011.

In the UK, Amazon has the handheld console priced up at £229.99 for the Wi-Fi only version, and £50 more if you want 3G too - the same prices that we've heard would be attached before.

The Vita measures in at 182 x 83.55 x 18.6mm and boasts a 5-inch, 960x544, 220ppi display. It's powered by a Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore, SGX543MP4+ GPU and packs a D-Pad, a touchscreen, a rear touchpad and a gyroscope.

Sony will be hoping that there's still room for dedicated handheld gaming despite the boom in mobile gaming. As Nintendo has found to its cost with the 3DS, it may be disappointed.

Check out - PlayStation Vita - all the launch games

And - Sony PlayStation Vita vs Nintendo 3DS