Sony Worldwide boss Shuhei Yoshida seems to be in two minds about the PS Vita's pricey 3G version, having given two seemingly conflicting opinions over the course of last night. Though he reckons that "it’s a burden having 3G, because 3G is not cheap" and requires a monthly contract, he also believes that the functionality is a forward thinking move that will come into its own later in the hardware cycle. Not only that, but apparently it's also not suited to traditional online gaming. We've got the full quotes after the break.
Speaking to GI.biz, Yoshida was keen to stress that the 3G Vita could be a "burden" at launch due to the increased financial outlay - that could be spent on "content" rather than "connectivity."
More so than the cost of goods involved to have 3G capability, it’s a burden having 3G, because 3G it’s not cheap. It’s an investment from consumers and sometimes they have to make a commitment depending on the country. More pre-paid plans are available but it’s still additional money people have to spend on top of the content.
We want people to spend more on the content, not on the connectivity, to be honest. There’s a balance.
However, in an interview with IndustryGamers, Yoshida believes that the service will blossom over the next couple of years - mainly due to the rise in 3G apps and social functions. It's an "investment," not an immediate return.
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 that we have put at the center 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.
"You have to experience it before you might decide you want to get 3G."
Sage advice. By the looks of things, potential consumers might want to hold off until we can get a better fix on the range of apps, services and games that plan to utilise 3G before taking the plunge.