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.