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PlayStation Vita launches in Japan, technical problems abound

Sony's hotly anticipated new handheld console, the Playstation Vita, has officially launched in Japan to impressive sales - but early adopters are complaining of crashes and bugs that make gameplay a chore.

The Vita, previously known as the Next Generation Portable or NGP, is Sony's successor to the PlayStation Portable. Featuring a high-power processor, bright OLED touch-sensitive display, and clever control systems that include in-built GPS, a rear-mounted touch-sensitive strip and even integral 3G connectivity on some models, it's an impressive piece of equipment.

While official sales figures aren't yet available, Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu claims that Sony has sold over 321,000 units in the first two days of availability - falling short of Nintendo's 3DS sales, which hit 371,326 units over the same period, but still an impressive figure.

Sadly, not all of those early adopters are impressed: PC World reports that bugs abound in the first-generation release, with gamers complaining of crashes, poor gameplay performance, random freezes and an unnecessarily complicated sign-up process for a PlayStation Network account - without which it's impossible to download an early update from Sony which addresses some of the bugs.

With the PlayStation Vita due to launch in the UK in Feburary, Sony has until then to address the issues if it truly wants to offer serious competition to Nintendo's now cut-price 3DS hand-held.

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