Monster Hunter 4 could be stomping onto the PlayStation Vita, if a rumour in Japanese magazine Game Lab is to be believed. The publication claims that the Nintendo 3DS exclusive was not recently delayed due to quality purposes, but to ensure a simultaneous release alongside Sony’s slick system. If true, the news could single-handedly resurrect the ailing portable’s fortunes in its home territory.

For those unfamiliar with the situation overseas, Monster Hunter was one of the PlayStation Portable’s biggest brands. It essentially catapulted the console to the top of the Japanese hardware charts, and provided it with an install base big enough to ensure the success of other publishers’ games. The absence of the franchise on the Vita has been a thorn in the system’s side ever since its release.

Sony, to its credit, has attempted to cover up the gaping hole by funding Soul Sacrifice, a similar style of game with a much bleaker art style. But while the title undoubtedly looks excellent, it’s unlikely to achieve the same fervent response as its closest competitor. If Monster Hunter 4 does come to the Vita, then the battle for handheld supremacy could be about to take an interesting turn.

[via jin115.com, kotaku.com, nintendolife.com]