At a Gamasutra-attended, Japanese-focused event in Tokyo, Sony revealed details for the upcoming Japanese launch of its PlayStation Vita handheld, noting a December 17 release date for the device.
The company also outlined the ins and outs of the 3G Vita model, revealing a partnership with Japanese mobile operator NTT Docomo. Prepaid data plans will start at ¥980 ($12.74) for 20 hours of useage, and ¥4,980 ($64.75) for 100 hours.
Sony was keen to stress that the 3G version of the touchscreen and physical controller-based PlayStation Portable follow-up will come with 100 free hours of the service already packed in.
As for the price of the handheld, Sony noted that it has not altered the original price in Japan of ¥29,980 ($389.80) for the 3G PlayStation Vita model and ¥24,980 ($324.79) for wifi only.
There was speculation that the price may be reduced after Nintendo dropped the price of its 3DS handheld
earlier this year. However, Sony Japan president Hiroshi Kawano explained, "We have made no changes to those prices."
Turning to smartphones, Kawano noted that the PS Vita will be able to communicate and interact with phones and tablets, although no solid details were put forward regarding the particular functionality involved.
"Smartphones and tablets aren't competing against us - we're actually collaborating," he said simply.