Sony made the more expensive 3G PS Vita, out at midnight tonight alongside the cheaper Wi-Fi-only model, because it wanted to invest in the future.
Sony Worldwide Studios chief Shuhei Yoshida told IndustryGamers he hopes gamers will agree with Sony's 3G "experiment" and invest in the future with their hard-earned cash.
"It's a new thing to have 3G capability in a portable gaming system, and when we were working on the design of the hardware, it's true that we believed in what we could do with 3G, but unless we have the system in the market and developers can try things and get feedback from consumers... it takes years to experiment and find a new way to use it, but unless we start somewhere we cannot even experiment," he said.
"So 3G is our investment in the future. I hope some consumers will believe in that investment of their money for the future. These systems last many years, and we will upgrade firmware, add new features, but it's not easy to update hardware.
"But the main purpose we believe in for having 3G in PS Vita is the social connectivity features we have put at the centre of PS Vita. When you open a game, you don't automatically start a game, but you're taken to one page which is constantly updated from publishers as well as your friends doing activities or giving you in-game items. So all that social connectivity is enabled by the 3G."
Last week Yoshida admitted the announcement of new Vita bundles were part of Sony "sweetening the deal" on the 3G model.
When Sony announced its Vita pricing it said the Wi-Fi only model would cost £230 and the Wi-Fi plus 3G model would cost £280. But it recently announced a new UK deal that offers a 3G Vodafone Vita and a free 4GB memory card for £279.
And if you top-up the 3G SIM with £5, you get a copy of WipEout 2048 for free. On its own, Sony's 4GB memory card costs £17.99. WipEout 2048 is currently going for just under 30 quid.
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