Sony's PlayStation Vita launched in Japan on December 17th. It arrives in the United States this week.

Sean Hollister and I have spent one week playing with the AT&T 3G model of the gaming handheld, and a number of the launch titles. Although we both agree that the Vita as a piece of hardware is a triumph (see our Vita review for full details), where we diverged from one another was at one simple question: where does the PlayStation Vita fit in today's gaming landscape? What follows is a series of email exchanges between Sean and myself about that very question. The copy has been cleaned up for the sake of professionalism.

Dear Sean,

It feels like ages ago that we first heard about the PlayStation Vita, Sony’s successor to / replacement for the PSP. Back then it was codenamed the NGP (Next Generation Portable), and both Paul Miller and I (no relation) took last-minute flights to Japan to cover the announcement ourselves. It was actually just over a year ago, but in fairness, that’s a lifetime in the tech world. I still remember the presentation, though, and I won't lie: I was impressed. Finally, two analog sticks!