UPDATE: Prices corrected in second paragraph.

Those of you in Japan will be lucky enough to get Sony’s latest handheld just in time for Christmas. The company has confirmed at a pre-Tokyo Game Show press conference that the PlayStation Vita will indeed launch on December 17 in Japan, alongside 26 games. Another 100 games will follow shortly afterwards during an unspecified “launch window.”

The Wi-Fi-only PS Vita will be priced at 24,980 Yen in Japan, $249 in the U.S., and £230 in the U.K. However, release dates for the U.S. and Europe are yet to be confirmed by Sony — all we do know is that it won’t arrive in time for the holidays.

Those prices do make it more expensive than its biggest rival — the Nintendo 3DS — following that whopping price cut. But the device does seem to get ahead with some impressive launch titles, which Nintendo said was one of the things lacking from its 3DS launch. Among those 26 titles are FIFA 12, WipEout 2048, and Uncharted: Golden Abyss, which our own Jon Rettinger had the pleasure of testing briefly during IFA in Berlin.

The other 23 titles include:

  • BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend
  • Project N.O.E.L.S.
  • Fish On
  • Dynasty Warriors Next
  • WipEout 2048
  • Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
  • Lord of Apocalypse (Square Enix)
  • Ninja Gaiden Sigma
  • Army Corpse of Hell (Square Enix)
  • Michael Jackson: The Experience (Ubisoft)
  • Shinobido 2: Tales of a Ninja (Acquire)
  • Virtua Tennis 4 (Sega)
  • Hot Shots Golf 6 (SCE)
  • Gyokugen Dasshutsu Adv: Zennin Shiboudesu (Chunsoft)
  • Dream Club Zero Portable (D3 Publisher)
  • Disgaea 3: Return (NIS)
  • Dark Quest: Alliance (Ubisoft)
  • Ridge Racer (Namco Bandai)
  • Tales of Innocence
  • Gravity Daze
  • Metal Gear Solid HD (Konami)

Sony also showed off a PS Vita accessory pack during the event, which consists of a case, headphones, a cleaning cloth, a car charger, and a stand — all sporting the PS Vita moniker.

For me, that list of games indicates an impressive start for the Vita, and certainly provides us with enough entertainment while we await the other 100 titles. I’m particularly looking forward to Uncharted and FIFA 12.

If you are in Japan, you can begin pre-ordering the PS Vita from October 15. Unfortunately for those of us in the U.S. and Europe, a release date for these territories wasn’t mentioned.

Are you looking forward to the PS Vita? Which of the games on that list will you be purchasing on launch day?

[via TechRadar]