If you do intend on taking the plunge and importing a PlayStation Vita ahead of its Australian launch in February, there are a few things you should take into consideration, especially when it comes to the language barrier.
There are a number of online retailers selling the handheld, namely Play-Asia, which is arguably the most competitively priced (followed by numerous eBay sellers, of which generally offer cheaper prices but ridiculous shipping rates).
So, what do you need to know ahead of importing this beast of a handheld?
Will 3G connectivity work outside of Japan?
No. Even if you somehow (and for whatever reason) sign a contract with Japanese 3G provider NTT DoCoMo, you will need to wait until the handheld is launched in your region in order to access 3G connectivity.
Does it have an English setting?
On start-up your Vita handheld with have a language option, at which point you can select 'English'. However, certain menus and headings will still be in Japanese, as will the Japanese PSN store.
Will I need a memory card?
If you intend on buying and playing games from the PlayStation Network, then yes, you'll need a memory card. Memory cards are available in 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB, and are priced at approximately $40 AUD, $50 AUD, $85 AUD, and $112 AUD respectively at Play Asia. Prices seem to be doubled on eBay.
Do games have English language settings?
Some do, some don't. The following are confirmed to have English language settings:
100% English support:
Uncharted: golden abyss (100% english support)
Partial English support:
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (partial english support in game menus)
Dark Quest Alliance (very partial English support. Only video cutscenes and trophies)
Power smash 4(English menus, Japanese discriptions)
Minna no golf ( 100% Japanese in game and Trophies)
Disgaea 3 (100% Japanese)
Katamari Nobita (100% Japanese in game, Trophies are in full English)
Ridge Racer 100% Japanese (very few English words in the menus)