Sony has confirmed that the PS Vita will be region-free, meaning that gamers should be able to import the handheld and games for it from Japan where it will launch first. Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida revealed the spec tidbit on Twitter, though went on to caution against importing. Last week, it was revealed that the PS Vita would go on sale in Japan on December 17, though US availability has been pegged by retailers for only a couple of weeks after that.
“There are people who are interested in importing the Japanese version of PS Vita from outside Japan, but I personally do not recommend that” Yoshida suggested, going on to explain that “from my experience owning both US and [Japanese] game consoles of everything, there tend to be minor nuisances … Like inconsistency between the use of x and o buttons between system software and games.” Pressed by would-be Vita importers to explain, the exec pointed out that “It’s a legacy, but in Japan circle means “yes”, cross means “no”.”
Nonetheless, it’s likely that many will choose to import a PS Vita if the price is right, given Sony is yet to confirm release dates outside of Japan. In Europe, the console is up for pre-order with several retailers, but none are giving specific availability timescales at this point.