As widely expected, the announcement was made at the Blackberry developers' conference, DevCon 2010, in San Francisco.
RIM describes the device, with its seven-inch screen and dual high-definition cameras for video conferencing, as a "professional-grade" tablet.
This suggests the Playbook is aimed at business executives and could command a premium price when the Wi-Fi version is released in the US early next year, according to the Financial Times.
RIM said an international roll-out would begin in the second quarter of 2011 and 3G and 4G wireless models were planned in the future.
In an attempt to catch up with Apple's App Store and Google's Android Market, RIM also announced a Blackberry advertising service and a payment service.
The advertising service will enable developers make money from adverts placed in applications, while the payment service will allow publishers to sell items such as premium services or game add-ons from within apps.