The FCC: at its best, it is decency's saving angel of grace -- the lone moral arbiter that stands between civilization and a savage dystopia, run on a depravity-based economy -- a collective hug for "the children" from your buddies on the Hill. At worst, it's a bothersome government agency that has clearly run out of things to do, and thus gets its kicks by issuing draconian fines for the utterance of "unacceptable" language -- by the way, your adorable little boy or girl is firing off such potty words like bullets from a killer's gun -- when frankly, we all have much better things to worry about.
When not silencing a caustic f-bomb or blurring out a rogue lady-t*t, the FCC performs testing on consumer electronics, and is generally the last hurdle a device must go through before making its way to market. According to images posted by Engadget (check the FCC's website for more), the Vita has cleared said hurdle, and is ready to send the PSP to... live on a farm. Indeed, a farm where little boys and girls will play with it all day, tell it what a pretty handheld it is, and never have to worry about sticky buttons or battery life again.
But I digress.
While it's noteworthy that the Vita has received FCC approval, Sony has yet to announce a release date. Speculation is that the handheld would be released around the holiday season, and a Blockbuster flyer seems to confirm this, stating a release of October 28th.
Though we will have to wait for Sony for official confirmation, this sounds pretty accurate, giving Sony a chance to cash in on that most lucrative of times: the Christmas season.
Whatever the date, I'm just happy to see that the Vita will be out soon. I haven't been chomping at the bit to pick up a 3DS -- I will say, however, that I am somewhat interested -- and as I've mentioned in the past, the Vita looks fantastic on paper. Emerging somewhat jaded from too many interminable months of "nothing interesting" on the PSP, I'm a bit more cautious this time around. Still, I can't think of any particular feature on the Vita that I don't like; in fact, it seems to have much of what I had hoped for in a next-generation handheld, and then some.
So once again I find myself tossing a little prayer toward Valhalla that Sony won't disappoint me. Particularly with the 3DS not doing so well (to a degree that a massive price drop seemed like the best option), I'm hoping that the Vita will help to keep my beloved handheld gaming afloat - assuming the 3DS doesn't bounce back from its troubles.