Sony promises an external battery option for Vita handheld

Earlier this week at the Tokyo Game Show, Sony finally cemented a release date for its upcoming handheld Vita – at least in Japan. In three short months on December 17th, 2011, both eastern gamers and western importers can get their hands on the device and its purported 26 launch titles. One sticking point, however, has been the Vita’s battery life: three to five hours of game time on default settings. With all the bells and whistles such as WiFi and Bluetooth turned on, it could possibly be closer to two or three.

Sony confirmed on Thursday that it plans to offer an external battery pack for Vita to bolster that anemic figure.

Sony promises an external battery option for Vita handheld

Speaking to IGN, SCEA Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida explained the peripheral’s purpose.

“If you’re flying from New York to San Francisco – or vice versa – you’ll have no concerns if you have the additional external battery,” said Yoshida.

Far from a sales pitch, the executive declined to provide further details such as price and release date. However, it’s a safe assumption that it will launch not soon after Vita hits store shelves. One question that remains is if the external battery will charge quicker than the default pack. Charging a Vita from empty to full is estimated to take nearly three hours, said Sony.

Sony additionally plans to release (.pdf) both a car adapter and portable charger for the Vita sometime next spring. Prices on both are TBD.

News of the external battery pack follows details on another Vita peripheral that isn’t essential, but certainly helps consumers get the most out of their purchase. Ranging from 4GBs to 32GBs, Sony’s new proprietary memory cards will be required for some games and a necessity for owners who wish to download various content from the PlayStation Vita online store. A 4GB card converts to around $28, while the 32GB card will cost over $100. Most titles, however, will feature on-card saving. (via IGN)

Still interested in buying a Vita, or have these recent revelations deflated your excitement? Let us know in the comment section.