Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida has said the 3G Vita is an "experiment" and "investment in the future".
A portable with a monthly connection fee is a new and understandably dubious concept for gamers, and Yoshida says Sony is fully aware of this.
"I totally agree with where you're coming from," said Yoshida. "It's a new thing to have 3G capability in a portable gaming system, and when we were working on the design of the hardware, it's true that we believed in what we could do with 3G, but unless we have the system in the market and developers can try things and get feedback from consumers...it takes years to experiment and find a new way to use it, but unless we start somewhere we cannot even experiment."
Yoshida says the 3G Vita represents an "investment" by Sony into the future of portable gaming, and that it will enhance the sociable aspects that are so core to Vita.
"So 3G is our investment in the future. I hope some consumers will believe in that investment of their money for the future. These systems last many years, and we will upgrade firmware, add new features, but it's not easy to update hardware," he told Industry Gamers.
"But the main purpose we believe in for having 3G in PS Vita is the social connectivity features that we have put at the center of PS Vita. When you open a game, you don't automatically start a game, but you're taken to one page which is constantly updated from publishers as well as your friends doing activities or giving you in-game items. So all that social connectivity is enabled by the 3G."
SCE president and CEO Andrew House has said the Vita offers a "much easier development environment" than its previously platforms which, along with digital distribution opportunities, promotes experimentation and risk among its developers.