Sony announced a while back that they would be partnering with AT&T in the US to provide a 3G service for their new handheld. Yesterday they told the waiting world what their plans look like for Europe.
Vodafone has been chosen as the ‘preferred partner’ for the majority of the continent, including the UK, Germany, Spain, Portugal and The Netherlands, as well as Australia and New Zealand. Although the 3G version of the Vita will be sim unlocked and therefore support a sim card from any network, Sony have confirmed that the Vodafone service has been tested to work fully with asynchronous multiplayer (in other words not at the same time), Leaderboards, Playstation Near service and other functions. In essence they are guaranteeing that the Vodafone data plan is designed from the ground up for Vita use.
“With social gaming and connectivity at the heart of PlayStation Vita it is important that we partner with a market-leading network provider, to ensure users have a high-quality 3G experience” stated Jim Ryan of SCEE.
Bearing in mind that the 3G version of the console will be more expensive (£40 more in the UK), Sony and Vodafone have come up with a sweetener for the deal. Once you purchase a Vita with a sim card and connect to a Vodafone data package you will receive a voucher for a free download of Wipeout: 2048, not a bad offer at all.
Unfortunately up to press we have no official confirmation of the pricing structure for the Vodafone data plan but it is expected soon, as is confirmation of whether a top-up scheme similar to the one on offer by AT&T will make it to this side of the pond.
Along with this confirmation comes the news that Vodafone outlets will also offer the 3G version of the Vita for purchase, indeed our contacts confirmed the device is available for pre-order now. What do you make of this news? Any European readers tempted by this deal or will you stick with the Wi-Fi version?