The next PlayStation Portable is coming, and now eager Australians can mark down a date in their calendars for when the next generation portable console arrives.

From February 22, Australians and New Zealanders will be able to get their hands on the PS Vita, a new PlayStation Portable featuring a 5 inch OLED multi-touch screen, quad-core processor, front and rear cameras, rear touchpad, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, and Bluetooth. A 3G model will also be released, supporting 3G data across social networking services and Skype while you’re on the move.

A rear capacitive touchpad will let you control games in a different way.

 

More than 80 games are in production for the new console, including portable versions of “LittleBigPlanet”, “Uncharted”, “Wipeout 2048”, “FIFA”, and “Call of Duty”.

Locally, Australians will be asked to pay $349.95 for the WiFi only model (PCH-1002) and $449.95 for the 3G and WiFi-equipped model (PCH-1102).

The PS Vita will be the first time the popular "Uncharted" series has graced a platform outside of the PlayStation 3.

Interestingly, the Australian price is a reasonable hike from what it costs in the US, with Americans being asked for $249 and $299 for the WiFi and 3G/WiFi versions respectively.

Given the strength of the Australian dollar, we asked Sony why locals were given a heavier price tag, only to be told that:

“As part of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, we are attached to the EU model pricing.”

Overseas, Europeans will be charged €249/299 for the models, a cost that – when converted using the current dollar – puts the PS Vita at around $320 USD for the base model, much higher than what it is. Sadly, it seems that any country that falls under the watch of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is getting a higher price tag.

We’ll just have to hope that the street price drops considerably from the recommended retail price.