Sony Worldwide studios boss Shuhei Yoshida has said the inclusion of 3G in PlayStation Vita is a “burden” due to its expense.
“That’s a question we asked ourselves maybe 200 times over the course of the development,” Yoshida told GI at DICE, when asked if the 3G feature was actually needed for the handheld.
“But from the very outset, in early 2008 when we first started the project, we had a very high level goal. We looked at all the technology we could and the advancements that we could use in a new system. 3G was always in the top five things we wanted to do.
“Because of how people are using social networks and how people are connected, we saw the opportunity that games can be enhanced by having 3G and an always-on capability.”
He continued: “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.”
But Yoshida stressed that 3G’s inclusion was part of a forward-thinking plan for PlayStation Vita in the long-term.
“It’s like when we started the PlayStation 2. We didn’t have the broadband capabilities, but we added those features knowing that not all users would have it. We were prepared to put that in the middle so that publishers and developers could start experimenting with online games, so that we can learn from their feedback and prepare for future growth,” said Yoshida.
“That’s the same stage in my mind by introducing the 3G SKU for certain people who have more money and are more interested in trying something new, to choose the 3G version but also at the same time prepare a WiFi version.”
It comes as overnight, Yoshida said the 3G functionality was part of its future as “our investment”.
PlayStation Vita launches tomorrow in Europe and the US.