Sony's PlayStation Vita coming this fall for $249, 3G via AT&T

For $249, Sony's next handheld may just give Nintendo's 3DS a run for its money.

Sony has finally spilled the beans on the PlayStation Vita, the portable formally known as the NGP.

Available worldwide this holiday season, the Wi-fi version of the Vita will retail for $249. Sony will also offer a 3G version of the device, which will cost $299 and run exclusively on AT&T's network. (This news was met by audible groans from Sony's E3 audience, perhaps rightfully.)

Sony's latest handheld comes equipped with a 5-inch touch screen, a pair of analog sticks, motion sensing, a rear touch panel, and both rear-facing and front-facing cameras. Early impressions of the console's titles have been positive, with many reviewers noting the generally impressive nature of the console's visuals.

But will it be enough? While Nintendo's 3DS launch has so far been lackluster, the company's E3 press conference tomorrow is sure to promise a bevy of impressive upcoming titles - a significant move considering that the 3DS already has a head start over the Vita.

Still, both Nintendo and Sony are releasing their handhelds in a climate very different from the one during which the PSP and DS were released. With smartphone gaming on the rise, can either company even hope to obtain the same level of success as they have previously? We'll have to wait until Nintendo's conference to find out.