While Sony's new PS Vita may be the best handheld gaming device ever, we felt that the 3G model isn't worth the $50 premium due to its limited capabilities; namely the 20MB download cap and lack of multiplayer gaming. In an interview with IndustryGamers, Sony exec Shuhei Yoshida says he understands that feeling — but that Sony views the 3G model as an "investment in the future." Yoshida goes on to say that while it's a simple matter to upgrade software to add new features, updating hardware isn't easy, especially when a system is planned to "last many years" like the Vita — possibly as long as a decade. Yoshida says that "it's a new thing to have 3G capability in a portable gaming system," and that it'll take some "feedback from consumers" and time to "experiment" with the newfound connectivity to find a truly novel way to use it.
Until then, Yoshida thinks that the addition of 3G will make the Vita more of a social platform. Acknowledging that 3G isn't capable of delivering speeds fast enough to support live multiplayer, he says that Motorstorm offers an asynchronous gaming feature that works great over 3G. Rather than pitting you against a friend in real time, it allows you to challenge a friend to a time trial-esque mode where you play the same event and compete for the best times.
Of course, only time will tell how the 3G model of the Vita is received by the public, and if the Vita will sell better stateside and in Europe than in Japan — the Vita launches in the US and Europe tomorrow, February 22nd.