Look familiar? It should: that's the PlayStation Vita, Sony's up-and-coming challenger to the mobile gaming throne. It's made the rounds a few times before, from E3, to Tokyo Game Show, to San Francisco's Vita Hill Social Club, and it even took an early pass through Engadget's review gauntlet -- courtesy of the Land of the Rising Sun, of course. After a strong start in its homeland (followed by a quick holiday slump), the budding portable hit the books, brushed up on its English and barreled its way back into Engadget's game room, demanding another review. And why not? We're happy to oblige.

And here it is, an extremely familiar looking slab of plastic, glass and electronics that calls itself the North American 3G / WiFi PlayStation Vita. Sony's new region-freetradition ensures that it won't be toodifferent than Japan's native model, but we're diving in for a more detailed look anyway. Read on for a peek at its content management system, backward compatibility, the particulars of its fancy new thumbsticks, the latest firmware update's contribution to the platform and much more.