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Sony hangs hopes on Vita

Sony hangs hopes on Vita
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Sony has started selling its latest handheld videogame device — the PlayStation Vita.

It is in the shops in Japan, just in time for the pre-Christmas sales rush, but will not reach Europe and the United States until late February.

Sony needs a winner in the face of big losses, but experts question whether the Vita can compete in a market increasingly dominated by smartphone games — many of which are free.

Sony’s videogames unit made a first profit in five years in the year to March, as it squeezed production costs for the Playstation 3, boosting profits for the whole company.

But costs involved in driving Vita sales may push the unit back into the red this year, adding to Sony’s struggle with huge losses in televisions.