Sony gears up for PlayStation Vita’s Japan launch

TOKYO (AP) ? Sony’s long-awaited PlayStation Vita portable game machine hits stores in Japan on Saturday with the company predicting brisk sales even though the launch has missed much of the holiday shopping season.

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. President Andrew House told reporters Thursday that enthusiasm among gamers could lead to some shortages at first. But he said the company can meet demand after the initial surge of buyers.

The PS Vita goes on sale in North America and Europe on Feb. 22.

The device is a touch-interface and motion-sensitive handheld that Sony hopes will be a strong successor to the PlayStation Portable. House touted the Vita’s advantages over rival Nintendo Co.’s 3DS, which had a disappointing start.