The 3G version of PlayStation Vita is Sony's investment in the future, says Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida who was defending the higher priced handheld to IndustryGamers at the recent DICE Summit.
"It's a new thing to have 3G capability in a portable gaming system, and when we were working on the design of the hardware, it's true that we believed in what we could do with 3G, but unless we have the system in the market and developers can try things and get feedback from consumers...it takes years to experiment and find a new way to use it, but unless we start somewhere we cannot even experiment."
He added: "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 centre 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."
Yoshida also noted that whilst 3G isn't good for real-time, online play, it's perfect for "social and asynchronous features" such as the challenge a friend feature in MotorStorm RC.
PS Vita launches in the UK on February 22 and can be yours for as little as £210 with a free 8GB memory card. Is the 3G version worth an extra £40?