Sony: Not all NGP models will ship with 3G

Users will pay extra fees for online functionality, confirms House

Sony's Andrew House has told press that there will be multiple versions of the new PlayStation handheld at launch, with only one model featuring 3G capability, a service which will cost the owner each time it is used.

Speaking to Eurogamer, Euro boss House confirmed that multiple SKUs will be available when the Next Generation Portable launches in late 2011, and not to expect to be able to use the 3G model to play online in the same way as you might at home - network and data streaming restrictions will apply.

"The first thing to clarify, which I'm not sure the presentation did a perfect job of doing today, is that all of the devices will have Wi-Fi capability; a separate SKU will have 3G," House said.

"So the user gets a choice. Wi-Fi is available wherever, which clearly is the most important aspect of connectivity and that connected experience; 3G will be a subset of that."

"One area that I'm particularly excited about is the idea of asynchronous gaming," he added. "Whereby the game experience is existing either on a PS3 or on your NGP, and then the 3G ability is the real-time, you know, 'you're under attack, you've got to go do something,' messaging, just keeping that link with you, which clearly is not very heavy in terms of data traffic, but creates a whole different sense to the experience."

House also confirmed that the use of 3G will carry a cost, but would not be drawn on which network would be carrying the service, or pricing.

"You'll hear more from us around that aspect of the strategy as we get closer to launch," he said.

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Latest comments (10)

Terence Gage Freelance writer 8 years ago
Seems like a pretty fair option to offer consumers, but of course I hope it is sensibly priced.

Could mobile phone companies offer the PSP2 in contracts like they do with phone handsets, laptops or broadband? (EDIT - not forgetting the iPad too of course!) Just an out-there thought that occurred to me.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Terence Gage on 27th January 2011 4:47pm

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Daniel Vardy Studying HND IT, De Montfort University8 years ago
suppose we have to hope the 3G is not restricted to 1 network. doing that only causes more problems and limits consumer choice
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Raimonds Zigurs Artist 8 years ago
i don't get it why people are worried about 3G costs so much. Get bill pay 3G USB stick with, lets say montly bandwidth of 15-20 gigs, put it into device, configure and live happily ever after... Of course company reps will tell you it is not supported and will not work, but that's a lie. I got 3 different ones working on linux with no support from ISP whatsoever. So yeah i'd go for device with 3G integrated for more freedom. Online play while driving in a car, yes please!
edit: ofcourse that will only work if there is a SIM slot in the device

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Raimonds Zigurs on 27th January 2011 6:41pm

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Show all comments (10)
Shane Sweeney Academic 8 years ago
Raimonds Zigurs, because not everyone is where you are.

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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 8 years ago
Already splitting the userbase before release? That does not bode well for features supporting 3G because they now have been pushed to the fringe already.

Considering that most 3G contracts give you full Internet access, a restricted Sony-Only 3G does not look too good.
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James Boulton Owner, Retro HQ Ltd8 years ago
This now sounds entirely like a beefed up iPhone for gaming. Same sort of hardware tiering as the iPad, sensible hardware, everything. And I dont think "splitting the userbase" is relevant at all given WiFi access for all models -- 3G just gives it you on the move. Give people access to Apps as well, and it's a killer device imo.

Not entirely sure where the idea of restricted network access is coming from? Negative speculation I guess.

From a developers point of view, it sounds like a lovely piece of hardware (personally I love the PSP as well). Very much akin to iPhone -- one (well, about 3 now) piece of hardware, so no compatibility issues, unlike other generic Android devices which have a plethora of random chips bolted together.
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game8 years ago
@James. It can't really be classed as a beefed up iPhone as you can't use it to make phonecalls. If the 3G is a seperate SKU, really it should have included a phone function too.
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Robert Turner Studying Games Programming, SAE Institute8 years ago
The model is more similar to iPad I guess. I don't know how interested I would be in the 3G SKU if I cant play games online on the move. Also depends on price. I think it is a VERY attractive device for gamers who (like me) have not entered the smart phone market. I pay a very small amount of money for lots of call time and texts because my phone sucks :-P. So if the price is reasonable I wouldn't mind forking out a lil more for internet/maps/games and any other services Sony has not announced yet.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 8 years ago
@Robert: Agreed, although I'm probably the only person I know NOT tied to his phone. I use my N-Gage QD (yikes!) as a basic phone (or conversation piece, as some folks can't seem to believe anyone actually owned one) and prefer a no-contract, no monthly fee plan, as I don't spend a lot of time yakking or texting.

In the US of A, the NGP networking is going to be annoying thanks to the carriers we have here and how everyone seems "happy" with the crappy plans they offer because we seem to have no balls to call the phone companies out for the nonsense they foist on us all. "Suck it up, it still works when it works and it doesn't cost THAT much! AND you can get this phone for FREEEEEEE (with a plan you can't back out of unless you hack your phone)" Feh.
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Considering that a lot of phones do tethering, or even act as WiFi access points now - 3G in a device like the NGP just isn't that important (and more so if it has USB slots).
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