Summary Box: Sony portable not ready by Christmas

NOT IN TIME: Sony’s next-generation portable game machine, the PlayStation Vita, won’t be available in the U.S. or Europe in time for Christmas. It will go on sale in Japan by the end of the year and in the U.S. and Europe early next year.

THE SIGNIFICANCE: The Christmas season is a crucial sales period for game console makers. Expectations had been high the machine would be ready worldwide for the holiday shopping season.

SONY’S EXPLANATION: Without charactering the timing as a delay, the company says it wants to be prepared with solid game software offerings timed with the hardware launches.