It seems some in the media are comfortable speculating about the PS Vita's release date yet this year, right up to the point of phony baloney headlines based on obvious non sequiturs. ZDNet noticed Amazon's placeholder release date—December 31, 2011—for the PlayStation Vita and Wii U after reading a bizarrely straight-faced Washington Post story, and decided, well, that it was newsworthy...in the face of overwhelming evidence (and official word) otherwise.
The headline: "Sony PS Vita coming to America Dec. 31?" As if the question mark in that sentence exempts what comes next:
Does Amazon and Game Stop know something we don’t because both sites are listing the Sony PlayStation Vita’s U.S. release date as December 31, 2011, according to the Washington Post. You can see in both screenshots that the companies have pegged the last day of the year as the Vita’s big day in America.
Yes, the first word should be "do," but nitpicking aside, what part of "Sony's been crystal clear about this" does anyone not understand?
Sony just confirmed the PS Vita would launch in Japan on December 17 with 26 launch titles. The company's made it clear, repeatedly, that the rest of the world won't see the handheld until sometime in 2012 (and no, they don't mean January 1).
Companies like Amazon use placeholder dates, typically the first, middle (15th) or final day of a given month, when they have no idea where to place a system, temporally speaking. Retailers like GameStop (nee Software Etc. and Babbages) have been doing it with games and gaming paraphernalia for decades. Amazon's December 31 date means nothing, save that the company wants your pre-order vote, just like GameStop, or for that matter, Walmart, which currently lists the handheld as arriving on 11/01/2011.
Come on ZDNet (and Washington Post), you know better.