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Sony Seals Deal With Vodafone to Bring 3G Connectivity to PS Vita in U.K.

by Killian Bell | November 21, 2011November 21, 2011 10:00 pm PST

When Sony finally gets around to bringing its new PlayStation Vita handheld to the market, gamers in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand and The Netherlands will get 3G connectivity — just like those in the U.S. — thanks to a new deal with Vodafone.

Sony and Vodafone have announced today that the carrier will be the “preferred provider” of the 3G-equipped PS Vita, offering its services to those who are interested in internet gaming on-the-go without the need for a Wi-Fi connection. The 3G handheld will come bundled with a Vodafone SIM card, and the carrier will sell the device online and in its retail stores.

It’s unclear at this point what Vodafone will charge for the privilege of 3G connectivity, or whether the handheld will be restricted to use on the company’s network exclusively. I’m certainly hoping, however, that this won’t be the case.

I’m a big fan of Vodafone and I’ve been pleased with its service so far, having recently signed up to a Vodafone contract for the iPhone 4S. But I’m not exactly thrilled by its 3G coverage in some parts of the U.K. I’m sure I’m not alone here, so having a choice of 3G providers would be fantastic.

Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, said that it was important for the company to partner up with a “leading network provider” to offer gamers a good 3G experience on the PS Vita:

“With social gaming and connectivity at the heart of PlayStation Vita it is important that we partner with a market leading network provider, to ensure users have a high quality 3G experience,” said Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.

“Partnering with Vodafone will enable PS Vita users in the selected countries to always be connected with their PlayStation life, friends and games, wherever they are.”

The PlayStation Vita is set to go on sale in the U.S. — where it will be available with 3G through AT&T — the U.K., and Europe on February 22, 2012.

Will you be bagging a 3G-equipped PS Vita, or will Wi-Fi-only meet your needs?

[via Pocket-lint]

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Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...