Sony will Partner with Vodafone to bring the 3G version of the Vita to the UK next February. The deal will also run across Ireland, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand and The Netherlands. While there are no prices yet, users will get a Vodafone SIM plus a PSN voucher for WipEout 2048.
No where in the press release does it say exclusive, but take "preferred connectivity partner" to mean what you will. Still, with the Vita, like the Xperia Play, being a niche device for mobile shops, it could well do better be pushing through one chain with a big push, rather than dribbled out across the whole market. Actually, several folks have noted that the Vita is an unlocked device, so you can shove any SIM from any vendor you like in it.
DoCoMo has the gig in Japan and as lead launch has put together an easy payment system to make it simpler than hoops needed to get through to buy a phone. In the U.S. AT&T will be revealing its plans soon.
No word on prices yet, but since its a data-only device, expect a decent free amount of GB to play with but hefty charges once you cross that line. Hopefully there will be a little app to help monitor usage.
Some aussie tweeters are already unhappy if this is an exclusive deal, as they reckon Vodafone doesn't cover much of Australia's sizeable territory.
"Vodafone preferred in Australia? Hahahaha. Great if you live in metro areas, crap if you live regional"Let us know if that's the case, but looking at the Vodafone Aus page, there is a massive network expansion and upgrade under way that might solve any perceived problems.