Sony's executive vice president Kaz Hirai has confirmed that the PlayStation Vita will not be released in the US and Europe until next calendar year.
According to a report by the Associated Press, Hirai confirmed the news to reporters at Sony's Tokyo headquarters, but suggested that the device would be on-sale in Japan by the end of the year.
The Vita was expected to launch worldwide before the Christmas shopping season, and while Hirai did not acknowledge Sony's release plans as a delay, he placed emphasis on the importance of having a strong software offering ready for the launch.
A weak launch line-up was one of the reasons cited for the poor performance of the 3DS, and Hirai insisted that Sony would not respond to Nintendo's decision to cut the price of its handheld.
"We packed so much into the device and made it very affordable," he said. "There is no need to lower the price just because somebody else that happens to be in the video game business decided that they were going to lower their price."
The price of the PlayStation Vita is currently set at $249 (£223 / €249) for the standard Wi-Fi model, with a 3G plus Wi-Fi model available for $299 (£268 / €299).
More details are expected to be announced at Sony's Gamescom press conference, which takes place at 7pm on August 16.