AT&T was the only North American service provider to offer the iPhone when it launched in 2007 thanks to an exclusive partnership with Apple, and now the wireless company is doing it again with PlayStation Vita.
The news same during Sony's E3 presentation, and when the exclusive partnership with AT&T was announced, many in the crowd offered up a crescendo of moans and groans to voice their displeasure. AT&T has been known for dropping more than a few calls in their time, and the exclusivity likely translates to locked-in monthly data pricing.
Sony did not announce any partnerships with other service providers outside the US, but says more details are on the way. Be sure to stay tuned here for the latest details as they emerge.
Sony Computer Entertainment America Selects AT&T as Exclusive U.S. Wireless Provider for PlayStation®Vita
Nation's Fastest Mobile Broadband Provider to Power Revolutionary Portable Entertainment System
LOS ANGELES, June 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (SCEA) and AT&T* today announced that AT&T, which powers the nation's fastest mobile broadband network, will be the exclusive service provider in the United States for PlayStation®Vita (PS Vita), Sony Computer Entertainment's (SCE) next generation portable entertainment system.
The PlayStation Vita system offers a revolutionary combination of rich gaming capabilities and social connectivity that will bring users closer to each other and closer to their gaming experiences wherever they are. Blurring the lines between interactive entertainment and reality, PS Vita provides unparalleled portable gaming experiences with dual analog sticks, front and rear cameras, front multi-touch display, multi-touch rear pad, GPS, six-axis motion sensors, and three-axis electronic compass. The speed and coverage of AT&T's mobile broadband network will ensure that PS Vita users will remain connected to content and each other on the go. PlayStation Vita customers with an AT&T service plan will also have free access at more than 24,000 AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide.
"AT&T's mobile broadband network excels at delivering data with high speeds nationwide, which is what we need for powering the social and connectivity features built into the PlayStation Vita portable entertainment system," said Jack Tretton, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America. "PlayStation Vita will give users the opportunity to engage and connect with one another while delivering the kind of rich and immersive gaming experiences unimaginable on any other portable device on the market today."
"AT&T consumers are accustomed to being the first to have access to the most cutting-edge mobile technologies available on the market today," said Glenn Lurie, president, emerging devices, AT&T. "We are thrilled to continue this legacy as the exclusive provider for PlayStation Vita in the U.S. market. By pairing the nation's fastest mobile broadband network and the nation's largest Wi-Fi network with this highly anticipated portable gaming device, PlayStation Vita users will experience a new era of portable gaming that will connect their entertainment and their lives more closely than ever."
AT&T wireless connectivity will enable infinite possibilities for PlayStation Vita users to "encounter," "connect," "discover," "share" and "play" with friends on the go. Within the device are a range of social networking features that provide unique, next generation portable entertainment experiences, including a new application called "near" and an interactive interface called "LiveArea™."
Developed specifically for PlayStation Vita and pre-installed on each system, "near" will allow users to find out what other PS Vita users in their vicinity are currently playing and what titles are most popular in the area. Users can meet with friends and new players virtually – regardless of what games they are playing – simply by sharing their game information across PlayStation®Network on the go via AT&T's mobile network, or when they're at a Wi-Fi hotspot. "Near" also enables location-based gaming features such as "gifting," in which a user can access virtual game-related items that other users are sharing, through checking in at geographic locations that others have also visited. The virtual items can include content unlocked from games, such as character costumes, weapons and treasures. Sharing these items between users adds a unique dimension to the portable gaming experience on PlayStation Vita while enhancing the social connectivity among the PS Vita community.
"LiveArea™" is an interactive space for each PlayStation Vita software title in which users can access the latest information for games through PlayStation Network. Additionally, users will be able to view an "Activity" log that is constantly updated with accomplishments from users who are playing the same game, which in turn can trigger active real-time communication among users. The AT&T wireless network will enable "LiveArea™" users to connect to their games on the go.
The PlayStation Vita system will have both Wi-Fi and 3G/Wi-Fi models in the US for $249 and $299, respectively. Additional details about AT&T data plans and pricing will be announced later.
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
About Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC
Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC continues to redefine the entertainment lifestyle with its PlayStation® and PS one® game console, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system, the ground-breaking PlayStation®3 (PS3™) computer entertainment system and its online and network services the PlayStation®Network and PlayStation®Store. Recognized as the undisputed industry leader, Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC markets the PlayStation family of products and develops, publishes, markets and distributes software for the PS one, PlayStation 2, PSP and PS3 systems for the North American market. Based in Foster City, Calif., Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC serves as headquarters for all North American operations.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile broadband and emerging 4G capabilities, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T | DIRECTV brands. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive are known for their leadership in local search and advertising.
Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com. This AT&T news release and other announcements are available at http://www.att.com/newsroom and as part of an RSS feed at www.att.com/rss. Or follow our news on Twitter at @ATT.
"PlayStation," "PS one" and "PSP" are registered trademarks and "PS3" and "LiveArea" are trademarks of, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
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