When it was first announced, the NGP touted a built-in 3G connection as one of its most drool-worthy features, enabling the device to connect to the Internet anytime, anywhere for web browsing, downloading titles from the PS Store or getting in some online gaming on the go, leaving gamers worldwide dreaming of Killzone-ing their friends while waiting at the bus stop.

However, many heard the word “3G” and immediately thought “monthly fee.” Gaming on the go is great, but some people would prefer to do so via hotspots for free. Though it was a bit unclear at first, it has now been confirmed that all NGP consoles will have Wi-Fi built in, and a separate model will have 3G capabilities added on. SCEE’s Andrew House cleared this up in a talk to Eurogamer:

The first thing to clarify, which I’m not sure the presentation did a perfect job of doing today, is that all of the devices will have Wi-Fi capability; a separate SKU will have 3G.

On top of these features that one expects when hearing “3G” Sony also mentions “Asynchronous Gaming,” which basically enables a game to exist both on the PS3 and the NGP in a connected gameplay experience. House explains:

One area that I’m particularly excited about is the idea of asynchronous gaming, whereby the game experience is existing either on a PS3 or on your NGP, and then the 3G ability is the real-time, you know, ‘you’re under attack, you’ve got to go do something,’ messaging, just keeping that link with you, which clearly is not very heavy in terms of data traffic, but creates a whole different sense to the experience.

And as for free 3G? Dream on: the 3G connection will cost a monthly fee according to House, who says Sony is still working out 3G partnerships.

Sony promises to divulge more aspects of their strategy “closer to launch.”

[source ngportable.com]