(This story will change as more news from the press conference comes in.)
If the two had launched on the same date, it could have spelled trouble for Sony. Monster Hunter has traditionally been a PSP franchise, and is largely credited with keeping the platform alive in Japan.
No release date has been announced for Vita outside Japan, but it's expected to be 2012.
Several games were announced at the conference, despite most being leaked ahead of time.
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Street Fighter X Tekken are both coming to Vita, with the former being a launch title. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 will reportedly have an optional touch-based battle system, which sounds like yuck. The game does take advantage of Vita's "Near" feature in some capacity, as well.
Square Enix announced two games: Lord of Apocalypse, a four-player co-op action RPG, and Army Corps of Hell, which we don't know anything about. In more promising news, the company is working on an updated version of Final Fantasy X for Vita, aka the last Final Fantasy game I honestly cared about. That's part snark and sarcasm, part genuine affection for the last Final Fantasy game I poured hours into. No details on what's different, only that it's less remake and more high-definition update and coming to PlayStation 3, too.
Hideo Kojima came on stage to reveal both the upcoming Metal Gear Solid HD Collection--Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker--and Zone of the Enders HD Collection. Kojima's also working on a brand-new, original game that will arrive (at least) on PS3 and Vita, but he wasn't able to say anything about it.
There were very few gameplay demonstrations during the whole conference, an odd turn of events for a machine touted for its amazing screen and powerful hardware.
At the end, Sony unleashed the launch details outside of the release date. There will be 26 games on December 17, with roughly 100 promised in the "launch window." It's unclear what the launch window is and whether that also includes downloadable releases. Some of the new games teased included a new Lumines (!), a port of Ninja Gaiden Sigma, a new Dynasty Warriors, Rayman Origins, Michael Jackson: The Experience and much more--most of the titles were in Japanese.