The release date for the PS Vita is changing, but the price is not.

Nintendo has one fewer competitor to worry about in the handheld race over the holiday season, as Sony has announced that its follow up to the PSP, the PS Vita, will not make it to the West until early 2012, confirming fears from earlier in the year.

Comments made by SCEA boss Jack Tretton led many to believe that the devastating earthquake in Japan would push the launch of the Vita back from its Winter 2011 window. Sony was quick to issue a statement saying that it hadn’t changed its plans for the Vita, although it didn’t completely rule out the possibility that it would.

It was Sony Executive VP Kaz Hirai announced the Vita delay, although he didn’t actually call it a delay; instead, he said that Sony wanted to have a strong library of games ready to go at launch. It’s not known at this time exactly when the new release date will be, although some believe that March is the most likely time – not unlike Nintendo’s 3DS.

Hirai made it clear that Sony had no intention of dropping the Vita price to bring it back in line with the 3DS however. He said that Sony had put a lot into the Vita and made it very affordable, and added that Sony did not feel the need to alter its pricing – $250 for the Wi-Fi model and $299 for the 3G versions – just because a rival had.

Source: MSN Money via Eurogamer

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