While North American audiences won't be getting their mitts on Sony's sleek new handheld until sometime next year, Japanese audiences don't have much longer to wait. Sony's next system launches in its home territory on December 17th. Pre-orders for Japanese customers are available starting October 15th.

Japanese gamers have a few different options when picking up a Vita. For the 3G-equipped model (with service courtesy of Japanese telco DoCoMo), MSRP is ¥29,980 (roughly $389.80 USD). For the Wi-Fi only model, it'll be a more modest ¥24,980, or $324.80 USD.

Be sure to check out our liveblog for up-to-the-minute information live from Sony's TGS press conference.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

Sony's TGS 2011 press conference, live from Tokyo