updated 02:05 pm EST, Thu January 27, 2011
Sony NGP getting multiple Wi-Fi versions, 3G extra
Sony's European PlayStation lead Andrew House sent word in an interview on Thursday that the Next Generation Portable will have Wi-Fi only versions. He promised "multiple" handhelds for the end of the year and that only one would have 3G. The cellular access was just a "subset" of a feature set where the 802.11n Wi-Fi is the baseline, EuroGamer was told.
The company didn't have carrier deals to announce for the 3G access but was "working hard" to land deals. North American deals are near certain given the importance of the market and would most likely involve AT&T through its more universal 3G support. Japan's NTT DoCoMo has so far been pegged as the likely candidate for 3G in Sony's home country.
Any service, however, would incur a fee. The release was too far out, but it's suspected the NGP will have relatively low-cost 3G to make sure that young adults or parents can afford the monthly fees.
The 3G wouldn't be essential to gameplay but could be used for "asynchronous" gaming, House said. A game last played on a PS3 could send continued status updates to the NGP, sending alerts and possibly letting the player take action on the spot. During its event, Sony mostly focused on Near, an app that lets users find nearby players and the most popular games.