Geek Revolt

To 3G Or Not To 3G, That Is The Question: Why You Want A 3G PS Vita In Your Life

The PS Vita release is now just weeks away and  reviews, previews and hype is everywhere.  But a question has been raised in all that discussion that seems to be dividing gamers.  Is it really worth that extra $50.00, not to mention the monthly fee, to secure yourself a PS Vita 3G?

In a word, yes.

There are those that disagree, even Geek Revolt’s owner DeShaun doesn’t seem to enamored with the Vita’s 3G functionality.  It doesn’t change the fact that he’s wrong though, and below you’ll find all the reasons you need to board the 3G Express and find that extra $50.

It’s only $50.00:

Okay, lets face it, you’re digging deep and shelling out for a release day handheld console.   You’re already finding $249.99 for something that could end up like many a 3DS, an overpriced paperweight crying out for more than three good games, so money isn’t exactly tight.  Hell, everyone knows if you’re getting one of these that you’ve got the money to spend, so why would you buy a lesser product for the sake of $50!  It’s like buying an original iPad now rather than an iPad 2, pointless.

 Wi-Fi Only For Life:

Ultimately if you pick up a Wi-Fi only Vita, it’s always going to be Wi-Fi only.  Sure you can put forward arguments for just using your phone as a Wi-Fi Hotspot and saving yourself the extra monthly cost, but then I always enjoyed my phone’s battery lasting longer than 3 hours.  As it says above, why limit yourself when you’re already spending this much money on a handheld?

Near Looks Awesome:

One of the most fun things about the 3DS is Streetpass, having the opportunity to interact with (to some extent) other 3DS owners in your area was a great and fun application for the wireless age.  It’s made handheld gaming more sociable and less “that weird kid at the back of the bus with his head buried in a PSP” and now Sony look like they’re going to take that a step further with “Near“.  Will it actually be useful if you live in a small town as opposed to a big city?  Who knows, but it must be said that it’s a good concept and if it takes off then you’ll regret having that Wi-Fi only model.

The 3G Bundle Is How Much?!

$299.99.  Yes, you read that correctly, Sony are now selling a PS Vita 3G bundle, complete with 8GB Memory Card, free PSN game and one month’s free 3G connectivity worth $55.00, for just $299.99.  Compare this to your Wi-Fi only Vita and the $30.00 you’ll have to spend to pick up the same memory card and you’re making a saving of….. $20.00.  For a Wi-Fi only model.  Which you can’t upgrade to 3G without buying a new one.  Great choice genius.

 It’s Not On Contract:

Yes the one thing that was pushing me towards the Wi-Fi version is no more.  The monthly charges are rolling and you can opt out whenever the hell you feel like it.  You just uncheck “auto renew” and enjoy using 3G whenever you want/can afford it, rather than being shackled to a long term contract.  With the free month’s trial mentioned above, it’d be foolish to pass up the opportunity to see if it’s all it’s cracked up to be.

All in all then, for that extra $50.00, you’re getting a hell of a lot, and in 5 months time, when you’re sitting there with your Wi-Fi only model, phone battery drained after 15 minutes of being a Hotspot and all your friends having fun on Near, you’ll be wishing you’d spent that extra money too.

Some  of you though will still disagree,  and I’d love to hear peoples reasons for wanting a Wi-Fi only Vita.  I’m sure there are plenty of good reasons as to why you’re plumping for the Wi-Fi only model, so let us know which version you’ll be buying on release day below!

I'm DeShaun Zollicoffer, and I approve this message/bio. "28-years-old, Proud Northeast Ohioan, a Gamer Without Loyalties, an Equal Opportunity Offender, Apple Evangelist, Apple Hater, Music Lover, Anime Junkie, Little Monster, Frequent Flyer, Dexter Fanatic, Title Case Addict, and Geek Revolt's Founder and Editorial Director."
  • My reasoning for wanting a Vita (Wi-Fi) is because I barely have enough to get the WiFi, yet alone fork over another $50 for 3G. As it stands, I have enough for the WiFi, Uncharted, and the starter pack (Case and 4GB memory card). I cannot afford to put over the extra money needed for the 3G bundle. 

    Second, data caps. I already have an unlimited data plan for my iPhone, but I do not want to put another random $20 on my bill for the PSV’s data, which, at 2GB/5GB, I do not feel will be enough, plus AT&T will charge more per GB used past the cap, making it more expensive in the long run. 

    And finally, I am always in a situation where I have WiFi readily available, so why should I spend more money if I don’t have to? And if I am not in a WiFi area, that’s what single player is for (which is primarily what I will use the PSV for anyways). So, if I go 3G version, I will be spending money for something I won’t be using, hardly ever. So, a waste of money. Now, if I was made of money, and it was not an issue, I would just go ahead and buy the 3G version, but unfortunately, money is an issue.

    Anyways, good article, but for me, the pros of 3G does not outweigh the cons. But I plan on buying a Vita anyways, looking forward to it.

    • All perfectly solid points.

      Hell the Vita’s a pretty big luxury expenditure as it is, I can get why some people would rather put the extra cash towards a game than on the model.  But when I look at that bundle that they’re offering, and what you can pick up for $300, with the free month, Wipeout and a memory card I just think that’s far to good an offer to turn down.

      I can get why when you’re paying up iPhone bills every month you’d rather just tether, but my experience with tethering is typically, say goodbye to half your battery life for and hour or 2 of usage, and god knows I’m bad enough with conserving battery life through a day without further strain on it and the fact that you can opt in and out of the 3G plan was the clincher for me, Sony sold it to me there and then.

      • Oh, I don’t tether, that would involve removing my unlimited data (see what AT&T did thar?). But yea, it is a great deal, but i cant fork over the extra, so I’ll deal with it.

  • Anonymous

    I think the 3G model is slick, but my Vita-ing on the go is primarily for single-player, and my Vita-ing at home (gaming on the balcony FTW!) is covered by Wi-Fi, and while I can afford 3G if I wanted to, I just wouldn’t use it enough (probably at all) to make it worthwhile.  I think it’ll be great for the right crowd though :).

  • 3G or Wifi, the PS Vita is still too expensive for me. If I’m going to shell out about $300, I might as well buy an actual gaming console. Or a hardware part to improve my PC performance (and ultimately, gaming experience). Unless the price goes down or a must-have exclusive game comes out, I’ll have to hold off on it for a while.

    Although, I have to admit that it’s good to hear the data plan isn’t subject to a contract, which was originally one of my concerns for the 3G model.

    • It could be worse, I paid around $760 for mine altogether (system + games + MC) ha-ha! That’s crazy now that I think about it. 

  • “You’re already finding $249.99 for something that could end up like many a 3DS, an overpriced paperweight crying out for more than three good games”
    That’s impossible since the launch already has many more good games than that :).

    • Yup, the PS Vita’s line up already kills the 3DS’. Now if Nintendo came out of the gate with Super Mario 3D Land, and Mario Kart 7 it would have been a little closer.

      • Yeah, at this point I would say 3DS is a tad ahead of Vita in terms of good games. That’s a pretty good start for Vita! There are a ton of good 3DS games coming this year, though. I’m interested to see what Sony has to say at E3.

        • I know, I can’t wait for Kid Icarus. I think Sony will show off a ton of PS Vita games at E3. Hopefully we see some cool third party ones. I wouldn’t mind seeing a Mass Effect on the system, and I think a Bioshock game is coming too. 

  • To me the 3G is a touchy subject. I don’t see the point in buying it, not enough data, and everything will be 4G in a couple of years. But I can’t blame anyone for picking one up, Sony has some good deals going on. 

  • And GPS.

  • Totally agree, the 3G version is the better option.

    • No it isn’t.  With 3G functionality, you’re looking at monthly charges and the inability to do anything useful with it in regards to gaming.  What you can do with 3G on your Vita – surfing the web, using GPS – you can do at no extra cost on your mobile phone.  The actual benefits of having 3G do not outweigh the negatives presented by the steeper price and monthly charges.  And before I wrap this up, let’s not forget that 3G will soon be rendered obsolete as 4G emerges as the new standard.

  • The only thing that makes makes getting 3G worth the money is the memory card and game ( I switched my pre-order when I got the news from my friend at gamestop). See here’s the thing……WIFI IS EVERYWHRE!!! They even offer WiFi on airplanes. Ok unless I’m mountain biking and for some reason get the urge to play some Mortal Kombat online and am stupid enough to take it with me…….oh wait THAT NEVER HAPPENS! I hear the internet browser doesn’t even work well. $50.00 is quite a chunk of change to anyone. I would much rather spend 50 bucks on a game or another memory card than a feature like 3G. My question to you is what are you gonna do with that 3G beside look and see who you’ve walked by that has a PS vita as well?

  • Jared Pryatel

    There’s a lot this article didn’t cover.

    • Feel free to explain 🙂

      • Jared Pryatel

        Alright, well, you’re going to be paying a large amount (supposedly $50 a month) for this service, but the current amount of features to do that is easily done on any modern phone if you have it on a 3 or 4G service already. Not to mention that there is a LIMIT to the amount of bandwidth you can use to this. Originally when I read this the pricing covered only 20MB a day. I know after commenting on this that it’s now $25 for 2GB, but that’s like one or two game downloads, and maybe an hour or two of online gameplay, as I’m not sure if that’s monthly, weekly or daily. If daily, then that’s fine I guess. And as we all know, 3G probably won’t be the “norm” in the next few years. A lot of phones are 4G now, like I said. So it’ll be obsolete. And much like Stevens said, Wi-Fi is everywhere! Your local coffee shop, your fast food restaurants, and even on an airplane. It’s simply a waste of money. And even then, wireless networks drop and rise more than a LAN network, so getting disconnected seems more likely to happen. If you’re willing to hork up an extra $50 up front and up to $25 monthly for it, then go right ahead. But for the budget conscious, or those who care about money, it’s not really a wise option.