More than a year after its first announcement, Sony's PlayStation Vita finally went on sale in the UK this morning.
Sony Computer Entertainment welcomed its new handheld into the world with a consumer-focussed event at GAME Oxford Street, flagged by the nearby 'Vita Rooms' store front, where gamers were invited to try out the system before spending their cash.
The queue running alongside GAME's midnight launch event was visibly packed with core gamers - and they looked to turn up in numbers even larger than the release nights of Kinect and Nintendo 3DS.
The man at the front of the queue, 21-year-old Zohaib Ali, had been waiting since Sunday for the release and pointed to Vita's status as a "next-generation" device as the reason behind his excitement for the handheld.
Sony's senior VP of Worldwide Studios Europe, Michael Denny agreed: "We have a truly next-gen piece of hardware and a great software line-up," he told CVG at the launch.
"There's no question that gamers have been waiting for something new, something that is truly next-gen, so certainly we expect to start with people who care about their games to want a PlayStation Vita.
"You look at the specs of the hardware in terms of a portable device... there's nothing out there like it - there's nothing that competes with it. It really is a great device, but when you marry with that the great software - 50 titles announced so far - I think it really will appeal to core gamers.
"But going forward, I think it has enough about it with social connectivity and the touch screens to appeal to a wider audience down the tracks."
Sony's said it sees Vita as a five to ten year platform. "We expect to have a great launch, but it's really in 12 or 24 months we'll know how successful it has been," SCEA's Guy Longworth commented this week.