PS Vita 3G 20MB download cap confirmed

GDC Online 2011: Sony rep confirms carrier-imposed limit on downloadable game size, reality check on device being as powerful as PS3, potential for freemium model.

As the PlayStation Vita approaches its December debut in Japan, specific details are starting to take shape about what the hardware can--and can't--do. In a 2011 Game Developers Conference Online sponsored session today, Sony Computer Entertainment America senior staff developer support engineer Chris Norden clarified a few of the machine's limitations.

As it would turn out, the PS Vita will not be as powerful as the PS3. Shocking.

The first such limitation is not actually being imposed by Sony. Norden confirmed that the 3G version of the PS Vita will only be able to download games up to 20MB in size as a result of the same 3G mobile carrier restrictions that prevent users from downloading large games or movies to their cell phones. Of course, Vita owners will still be able to download games larger than 4GB using the system's Wi-Fi functionality. For reference, Norden said that retail PS Vita games will come on 2GB and 4GB game cards.

Norden also addressed notions that the Vita would be as powerful as the PlayStation 3, saying such a portable machine just wouldn't be feasible right now.

"That's not true. That couldn't be true. The things would burst on fire in your hands or something," Norden said. He specifically cited the impact on battery life and heat output as reasons the PS Vita won't be matching its console counterpart's horsepower.

Finally, Norden answered a handful of questions from the audience, including one about whether or not the system was set up to allow for developers to make microtransaction-driven free-to-play games. Norden said developers are "free to explore whatever business model they want," and that the system is capable of supporting that.

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Discussion

267 comments
espernay
espernay

umm, what are the other functions of the 3g for vita except for downloading games, gps, videochat and connecting to internet in a wi-fi less location.?

Granpire
Granpire

Obviously they did not say that it would be as powerful as the PS3. They said the graphics would look comparable to the PS3. The lower screen resolution also makes it unnecessary for it to be literally "as powerful as the PS3" anyway. It was foolish to assume this in the first place. I've seen the graphics though, and they look, as I said, comparable to the PS3.

baconater87
baconater87

pppppttthhhhhh wow that sucks yay 3g o wait i cant play online because atnt are cheap fools

TJsimulation
TJsimulation

@metalman116 That's what I mean. I am just confused as to why they couldn't at least have maybe 500MB or 1GB. That'd be a pretty reasonable size. Maybe it's because they can't handle it, but even then aren't the people who are getting the 3G paying for it regardless? *shrug*

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

@mario-nin-freak Hey, the 3DS didn't even have 1st Nintendo games. lol I'm still waitin for my Mario Kart... xD

mario-nin-freak
mario-nin-freak

@StJimmy15 Makes sense;) I prefer home console games over portable games, and often wish portable games were more like home console games. That's why I think I'd like Wii U more than Vita. But I definitely see your point;) And I must admit, if the Vita had 1st Nintendo games I would buy it on release day!

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

@mario-nin-freak Right, but the games I play on my portable (Pokemon, FF Tactics, Disgaea, etc) lend themselves to being carried around and/or easy to play during commutes or at work xD I get what you're saying, but I prefer my handheld games be of a different kind than my console games. Slow and methodical for the portable, fast and engrossing on the console.

mario-nin-freak
mario-nin-freak

@StJimmy15 No it's not. I do probably 80% of my portable gaming in my home(Not exxagerating). If you do also, then the Wii U is almost better than the Vita when it comes to gaming(A guess anyway, nobody knows exactly how the Wii U will end up). Obviously it's not a portable, and most people will want the Vita for portability. But in my personal situation, the Wii U is a better way for me to take my games "around the house" than the Vita would be. Obviously I'm a rare case, so I'm not saying anyone shouldn't buy a Vita. It's an amazing portable gaming console.

opinions2
opinions2

Still torn on Wifi or 3G model. It would be nice to get alerted when something happens on say Ruin so I can respond quickly but at the end of the day, it will all boil down to operator costs of the 3G networks. If I have to pay constantly for the Vita even when it is off because of a 3G contaract, I am more likely to go Wifi Only. File limits on downloads makes sense otherwise the networks would struggle with a large number of Vita users trying to all get the latest releases via 3G.

DriftEJ20
DriftEJ20

Agreed. Not a deal breaker in any way. People expect unrealistic things, and the Vita is far beyond the whole, "Expect iPhone 5, get iPhone 4S. Expect proto-Droid Bionic, get pretty good Droid Bionic" type of industry mobile devices tend to live in. For me at least, it exceeded the expectations I had for a successor to the PSP, on both a wishful-thinking and realistic level. I plan on getting the wifi-only version anyways if I get one. The reality is, you're not going to be out of an accessible wifi zone long enough to have the need to download a new game. If you are arguing that you need the 3G for multiplayer, then you've really worked around the suggestion that people have given you about "needing to get out more".

KaizerJinn
KaizerJinn

still not a dealbreaker. i'm definitely getting Vita. ^_^

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

@mario-nin-freak That was sarcastic. Saying a home console is a better alternative to portable gaming over a handheld is inane. Thats the whole point of a handheld, to leave your house and be able to take it with you. Your "point" is like saying, "this toaster is a better alternative to a cell phone, as long as you don't talk on the phone alot."

nevershoutnevea
nevershoutnevea

i think ipad is the same you cant download more than 20mb :] but sony says they gonna make it better than 20mb with updates in the futures :]

botroo3
botroo3

@deadkingdg The 3G model is not for multiplayer on the go, its just for chatting and that social stuff only...imo 3G model is really worthless,the wifi only version is the way to go.

thedemon44
thedemon44

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

mario-nin-freak
mario-nin-freak

@StJimmy15 Was that sarcastic, or did you really not understand my point?

gzg9jg
gzg9jg

The battery is for play not for downloads, still, if you're going to download a larger game, you'll probably have the thing plugged in, I know I will.

zenlang
zenlang

no matter, thats' what WIFI is for

mrmikechau
mrmikechau

I suppose the Vita's battery won't last long enough to download a bigger file ;)

X-RS
X-RS

So...is it a cell phone? Does it do the basics of a cell phone?

metalman116
metalman116

@TJsimulation I believe the 20mb limit is per file. not a per month kinda thing, and as far as I know every cellphone carrier has that limit. You can download say 4gb a month but only downloading 20mb or smaller files.

TJsimulation
TJsimulation

Oh yeah BTW guys, 4G is barely available to anyone. I doubt it will be available fully until about 3 years from now or longer. Even big cities like New York don't have it fully, and they won't for quite some time, so you can only imagine how long it will take for EVERYONE to get it.

TJsimulation
TJsimulation

So I saw this article and was like "Hmm, this must be a typo." Then I opened up the article and I was like -____-. I get more data downloads with Sprint. Hell even Verizon would have possibly allowed more. 1 GB would be understandable, but 20 MB? MB?!?!? What is this the 90s? I like Sony, but I'm not a fanboy and this was obviously a bad decision from the new management. They must have known that this cap would exist. I can't imagine using 3G to download any games anyways, but a 20 MB cap seems a bit sketchy like there will be data restrictions on online play and so on and so forth. I'll pass. I enjoy sticking with just WiFi. If I'm not in a wifi place, I'm playing solo.

Yondaro
Yondaro

I mean no reason to get the 3G version

Yondaro
Yondaro

@Xaiano There is a standard for 4G actually. It is 100MB. LTE stands for Long Term Evolution. It will be able to achieve the 100MB limit in the fitire. Hince it's name LTE. But as you said, there is no 4G speeds available now. But it would be nice to have that fake 4G available for the Vita. XD And so dumb how AT&T would even restrict it from bigger downloads. There's no freakin reason why to get it now. :-(

Xaiano
Xaiano

alberto2045 - There is no 4g. Despite manufacturers using it as a ploy to sell mobile devices, no standard exists for 4g currently, so by definition there is only 3g.

Mariner32
Mariner32

This makes sense to me. I really don't see myself downloading anything more than 20MB on the go anyway. I only have two problems with the VITA currently: The prices for the memory cards are kinda ridiculous, and I'll have to re-buy all my PSP games from the PSN store... Which brings me to my ever-present problem with PSN (and tangentially, VITA): Crisis Core isn't on PSN. Get on that, guys!

alberto2045
alberto2045

I dont understand the use of 3g for it... but if its gonna have 3g y not have 4g? im sure in early 2014 they r gonna do 4g so this is gonna b annoying... wi-fi is always faster then 3g so idk y people cry

BimboShaggins
BimboShaggins

Not a big deal at all. Download bigger stuff at home, or one of the various public places that have wifi... and multiplayer over 3g is all that really matters. Unless they had a version of dark souls or something for it EHEM EHEM EHEM

scratchisme
scratchisme

@fightingfish18 You're right you can do a ton with 20mb. I have in fact played Doom, but that game came the same year I was born. I would hardly say that is cutting edge. Heck, one of my favorite games, Contra, is 88kb. Current devices' resolutions are higher and sound doesn't have to be programmed now. The higher visual and audio fidelity takes a lot more space.

scratchisme
scratchisme

@shadowhunter0 I completely get what you are saying, but I still think that's still a bad move. The simple truth is that the vita is competing with the ipad and ipod touch, and this is putting themselves a step backwards.

Dawg9000
Dawg9000

@bluefox755 You can't deny portable gaming has some great exclusives well worth the money you're paying for the device.

sulaymanqazi
sulaymanqazi

I actually see much more potential than PSP. this might sell a good 100 million. just a prediction.

wavelength121
wavelength121

Portable gaming is dead and will remain dead until corporate greed is taken out of the picture. I'll stick to my 20 year old black & white Game Boy, it's still the best any way, thanks.

Spacerac
Spacerac

@Arthest no HDMI-out support, sorry.

cornerback3
cornerback3

that's why you just use the wi-fi for bigger files...

Arthest
Arthest

@bluefox755 I think with the Vita its the shift from completely ignoring you portable system to wanting to play it over a xbox or a PS3 because now your getting that kind of quality on the portable and with the duel analog you can keep playing the way you've been playing on the consoles. Also I've heard you can plug it in to an HdMi Which is good for the great graphics the systme has to offer.

mcderek3000
mcderek3000

" The things would burst on fire in your hands or something" This is Sony we're talking about. /couldntresist

L_ninyo07
L_ninyo07

Fact: That iPhone your using, has the EXACT SAME download cap as well. I think (here comes the thumbs downs lol!) some serious bellyaching is going in here. This is not a big deal people! Just use the Wi-Fi for big files!

endorbr
endorbr

@bluefox755 - Plenty of times when you're stuck waiting somewhere that having something to keep you occupied besides out of date magazines would be a plus.

bluefox755
bluefox755

@games5522 true, I suppose if you lived in the city you'd be using alot more public transportation

games5522
games5522

@bluefox755 Those long train rides do get boring.

sieg6529
sieg6529

Not a big deal if wifi is still uncapped. Still, I've never been one to stare at small screens for long periods.

bluefox755
bluefox755

Lol, am I the only one that things that portable gaming is dumb? I like sitting on my couch in front of my nice big tv, if I'm on the go, I'm more than likely busy with something, working, having a social life, playing sports, etc...never once during any of these activities do I feel the urge to whip out my phone or another device and start gaming...maybe I'm weird, just my 2 cents

HoY4
HoY4

I'll just stick to my psp slim thank you very much. See no reason for this at the moment, just like there was no reason for pspGo. went through two 1st gen psps. imo psp2000 is the best looking.

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

I hope you meant "support multiplayer OVER 3G" because thats what it is...

Dramacide
Dramacide

I got the wifi only version on pre order, i made that decision as soon as i heard that 3g vitas wouldnt support online multiplayer for your games which really makes it pointless when you consider that you probably own at least one other device (i.e a smartphone) that you can use for other internet based functions. the 20mb cap is nothing new because i always have to go home to download my iphone games which is what i will do with the vita too. In fact 3g is just another way to suck your money when it comes to portable devices so until the networks can up the capacity for downloading i am staying away from it, plus it will save hours of battery life!