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Is the Playstation Vita hitting U.S. markets December 31?

PlayStation VitaEvery week seems to bring a new potential U.S. release date for Playstation Vita, Sony’s next generation of handheld gaming system.

Just over a month ago, Sony indicated that the Vita will hit shelves in Japan before the end of the year, with U.S. and U.K. release dates to follow in early 2012. Now it appears that two notable retailers have a slightly different timeline for the system’s release.

According to both the Amazon and GameStop pre-order pages for Vita, the system will be released December 31, 2011 — giving U.S. fans a chance to welcome the new year with the next-gen handheld.

It’s worth noting that both sites also offer a list of games for the Vita also scheduled for a December 31 release, including Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Resistance: Burning Skies, and Street Fighter X Tekken.

Of course, all of this could just be a miscommunication about the system’s varying release dates around the world, since it was Sony Corp. Executive Vice President Kazuo Hirai himself who made the “early 2012” announcement. It’s also worth noting that Best Buy’s Canadian site listed a March 2012 release date for the system last month, too.

Keep your fingers crossed, eager Vita fans — at this point, it’s anybody’s guess when the system will make its way to shelves on this side of the ocean.