Sony confirmed at E3 last year that AT&T would be running point for 3G service on the PlayStation Vita in the United States following the handheld’s release. Things have been quiet on that front since the initial announcement until this week, with the veil finally being pulled off of the company’s Vita data pricing.
As it turns out, things are looking pretty familiar if you’re already an AT&T customer. Two no-contract pricing plans will be available to Vita users. On the cheaper side is a $14.99 per month plan that gives you 250MB of data. The more expensive plan runs you $25 per month and delivers 2GB of data chomping in exchange. Bear in mind that multiplayer gaming won’t be supported on the Vita over a 3G connection, so those seemingly small data figures are probably in line with what normal 3G usage would be.
The question now is whether or not a 3G Vita is even worth it at all, given the “no multiplayer gaming” restriction. 3G will instead be used for web browsing and social connectivity using the device’s Near feature. Is that enough to justify shelling out cash for a data plan? Perhaps if you’ve got a trip planned out to San Diego Comic-Con or some similarly geek-friendly event. It’ll be up to the games themselves to give players a reason to want 3G connectivity. One example I’ve seen is Zipper Interactive’s third-person shooter Unit 13; with that game, a live 3G connection allows you to unlock certain missions in the game simply by passing by other players who already have them unlocked. Will that, and ideas like it, be enough? We’ll find out as this year continues to unfold.