Sony NGP: WiFi vs. 3G Connectivity

Sony NGP: WiFi vs. 3G Connectivity

The PSP 2, now officially code-named the “Next Generation Portable” (or “NGP”) will offer 3G support. This feature isn’t mandatory: The NGP will have at least two separate SKUs so that buyers can choose between a model with 3G support, or one without. Both models will support Wi-Fi connectivity.

At this point, we don’t know how much the NGP will cost with or without 3G support. We don’t know who will be providing 3G access in America, how how steep the fees will run. We can, however, almost be certain that the 3G model of the NGP will run higher than the non-3G version, and that’s without taking added service fees into account. We can also guess that the NGP in any flavor won’t come cheap.

People are already squirming over the $249.99 USD for the Nintendo 3DS; if the NGP is any higher, then Sony might have a hard sell on its hands, and an even harder sell with a money-sucking 3G model. How many people will adopt the NGP primarily for 3G access–especially when they learn more about the upcoming PlayStation Suite, which will deliver classic PSOne games to Android phones?

Constant access wireless Internet is a handy thing to have (and a difficult thing to give up, once you’re used to it), but until we know for sure how it’ll work with the NGP, 3G access for a handheld gaming system doesn’t seem too practical or attractive, offhand. The NGP will be able to access the web, email, etc, which is grand, but anyone can do that already with their smartphones.

A handheld gaming system with 3G access might provide interesting opportunities for online play, which is probably what Sony has in mind. Otherwise, it might come in handy for movie downloads, game downloads, etc–but unless the 3G provider working with Sony manages to provide some awesome rates, that’s going to get expensive, fast. People will simply wait until they hit a Wi-Fi hotspot.

The coming weeks might offer some cool examples of what a 3G-enabled game system can do. Until then, we’ll straddle the fence with the skeptical kids and and see where Sony ends up.

About Nadia Oxford
Nadia is a freelance writer living in Toronto. She played her first game at four, decided games were awesome, and has maintained her position since. She writes for 1UP.com, Slide to Play, GamePro and other publications, and is About.com’s Guide to the Nintendo DS.

2 Comments

  1. The price for a 3g model should be partially subsidised by the carrier. Gaming involving high levels of interaction among the players would be compromised over 3g as latency would be a big concern. Doesn’t sound like the NGP is trying to replace the cellphone so if the price of the 3g is high, people will likely stick with the wifi only version and tether off of their existing phone.

  2. is it a pay monthly contract or a 1 off?

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