The handheld device formerly known as NGP — the Next Generation Portable — now has a name and a price tag.

Sony unveiled the PlayStation Vita at its media briefing prior to the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.

The successor to the PlayStation Portable will sell this holiday for $249 (Wi-Fi only) and $299 (Wi-Fi/3G).

Hirai says Sony chose the name Vita, which is Latin for “life,” to represent how “connecting with your life” is key to the product’s DNA.

The Vita features a 5-inch multitouch screen, a rear touchpad, two thumbsticks, front- and rear-facing cameras and SixAxis motion control.

It will also feature a memory card slot, although Sony did not detail how much the Vita could store.

The device will include software such as social network Near for players to share games and “Party,” which is Vita’s answer to party chat.

Several third-party games were revealed as part of the Vita roster, including an original BioShock title from 2K, Street Fighter X Tekken from Capcom and Call of Duty from Activision. Other publishers such as EA, THQ and Ubisoft are also supporting the portable.

AT&T will serve as the exclusive carrier for 3G models of the Vita.

Sony introduced the Vita as it attempts to reverse its fortune in the portable gaming market. Although Sony announced sales of the PlayStation Portable crossed 70 million worldwide, the device has strugged against Nintendo’s more formidable DS, which has already crossed 135 million in sales.

Sony also unveiled the PlayStation Suite, a platform for games that will appear on various smartphones and tablets.