With the rise of mobile gaming made possible through the iOS and Android ecosystems (and WP7, if you’re that way inclined), dedicated portable gaming machines need to be pretty special to succeed. The PS Vita, successor to Sony’s PSP, looks to fit that description, and has just been priced and dated for Australia.

Launching February 22, the PS Vita will set gamers back $349.95 for the Wi-Fi model and $449.95 for the 3G version.

The console, which features a 5-inch OLED touchscreen as well as a rear touch panel, dual analog nubs and built in GPS and SIXAXIS motion sensing system, is a high-tech games machine with mountains of potential. Developers have jumped on board in a big way, with over 80 titles currently in development for the new platform.

The potential problem Sony faces with the PS Vita is likely to be the price. Not that $350 is too expensive for a device with so many features, but when compared to the US price of $US250 for the Wi-Fi version and $US300 for the 3G version, it seems that once again, Australia is set to be paying a premium for the same technology.

Even factoring in sales tax to the US price, plus some wriggle room for economies of scale, the $100+ premium added to the Australian RRP at a time when the Aussie dollar is worth more than the US dollar will be a hard pill for savvy gamers to swallow.

Mark our words: You can expect to see plenty of units being bought online and shipped to Australian gamers early next year…

Price: $350 (Wi-Fi); $450 (3G)
Web: Playstation