Sony’s new powerhouse gaming portable, the PS Vita, doesn’t officially launch in the U.S. until Wednesday, Feb. 22. Except that’s not entirely true — it turns out you can lay hands on the system a full week early.
A few retailers are selling something called the “PlayStation Vita First Edition Bundle,” basically the high-end $299.99 Vita (Wi-Fi + 3G) bundled with Little Deviants (free), a “limited edition” case, a DataConnect Session Pass (basically a chunk of pre-purchased AT&T 3G air time), and a 4GB memory card for $349.99. Its release date: Wednesday, Feb. 15, a full week ahead of the general public launch. You can either order it online and have it shipped direct, or pick it up in one of the stores, some of which are offering midnight launch parties.
Is the bundle a good deal? Looks like it. The “limited edition” case would probably sell solo for $19.99, Little Deviants (a collection of arcade games with an augmented reality angle) goes for $29.99, a 4GB memory card will set you back $19.99 and I’m assuming the AT&T DataConnect Session Pass is the 250MB-over-30-days flavor, which runs $15. So take $300 for the Vita, plus about $85 for all the extras, and you’ve got $385 worth of goods sold for $350, plus the satisfaction of having the thing in your hands a week early (that, and the competitive advantage of racking up PlayStation Network game-related trophies before your less impatient friends can).
You wouldn’t be limited to playing Little Deviants, either — several of the Vita’s launch games are already in stores (and for sale), including Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational, Wipeout 2048 and ModNation Racers: Road Trip. If you’d rather buy your Vita games online, you can get those four through the PlayStation Store as I type this, along with the PSN-only Super Stardust Delta.