Friday, 25 November 2011

Vodafone selected to provide 3G connectivity for PlayStation Vita

Vodafone has been chosen by Sony as the connectivity provider for Sony's Playstation Vita. Geographically the deal covers VF's footprint in Western Europe (plus SFR in France), Australia and New Zealand. For more details see here.

The device will be fitted with both 3G and WiFi. No need for LTE at this stage as the networks aren't ready, the additional BOM cost of LTE (USD60-70) is substantial in the context of the price of the device and the lifespan of the device is not more than a couple of years, so plenty of time for LTE versions in future. It'll be interesting to see what happens in the US. If they're sticking with just a 3G device there they're basically committed to AT&T, who do have a good pedigree in consumer electronics M2M (e.g. Kindle).

Vodafone will act as a channel for the Playstation Vita including, we would assume, retail as well as online. No details are available on price, subscriptions etc. The interesting question is whether the connectivity will be completely opaque as it is in the case of the Kindle. If it is, then the cost of the connectivity will be bundled in with the device. If it's not, then the user will have to sign up to a monthly contract. A lot depends on the form of online gaming that Sony puts in place. Vodafone/Sony have until 22nd February next year to decide. That's the device launch date.

By 2020 Machina Research expects that there will be 30 million WWAN connected games devices. For more details see Machina Research's Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Communication in Consumer Electronics 2010-20.

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