AT&T Gaming
The 3G PlayStation Vita is finally coming to the US in February, courtesy of AT&T. Sony's latest handheld gaming platform is being billed by the carrier as a product that is "going to change the gaming industry. Period." Those are mighty bold words but, as we already learned, it's a mighty bold device. You'll be able to sign up for one of two data plans directly from the device -- $15 for 250MB or $25 for 2GB. Of course, that's not terribly surprising since those are the standard contract-free data plans available from Ma-Bell. You'll be able get your 3G Vita fix starting February 22nd. PR is after the break.

Update: In an interesting twist Ralph de la Vega said it'll be even better when it "gets LTE." Though, we've heard nothing official about a 4G vita -- so this is either an unintentional leak or a simple slip.
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AT&T Announces Wireless Data Plans for Playstation® Vita
AT&T's Mobile Broadband Network to Power Sony Computer Entertainment's Next Generation Portable Entertainment System. PlayStation Vita Available in the United States February 22

Dallas, Texas, January 09, 2012

AT&T*, the exclusive U.S. wireless carrier for Sony Computer Entertainment's PlayStation®Vita, today announced data plan pricing for the 3G-enabled model of the next generation portable entertainment system. AT&T plans to offer two data plans, a $14.99 plan featuring 250MB and a $25 plan with 2GB. Both plans will be month-to-month and will not require a long-term contract. The high speeds and broad coverage of AT&T's mobile broadband network mean that PS Vita owners will remain connected to their content and with the world around them, including their friends and other PS Vita owners. PlayStation Vita customers with an AT&T data plan will also have free access at more than 29,000 AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide.

"The data plans for the PlayStation Vita will give gaming enthusiasts a convenient and seamless path to connect to a nationwide mobile broadband network while gaming on the go," said Glenn Lurie, president, emerging devices, AT&T. "We are looking forward to providing PlayStation Vita users the ability to experience a new era of portable gaming through wireless integration. This introduces an entirely new gaming experience, with access to popular social networking sites, right on the device."

PS Vita will launch with a wide range of social networking features developed specifically for the system that provide unique, handheld entertainment experiences:

Location-based application "near" will allow users to find out what other PS Vita owners in their vicinity are currently playing and what titles are most popular in the area. "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 by checking in at geographic locations. For example, in the popular kart racing series ModNation Racers: Road Trip, PS Vita users will be able to collect rare gift items provided through the game when visiting specific points of interest in 45 major cities around the world. They can then share them with other PS Vita owners through the "near" application.
"LiveArea™" is an interactive interface for each PS Vita software title in which users can access the latest information for games through PlayStation®Network.
In addition, a variety of social networking and communications services such as Facebook, Flickr, foursquare, and Twitter will be available on PS Vita.

"With a mobile broadband connection, gaming enthusiasts will have seamless access to LiveArea," added Lurie. "Users can check on their friends' accomplishments with LiveArea when they're playing the same game, triggering real-time communication."

PS Vita systems with an active AT&T data plan will also take advantage of software functionality developed specifically for the 3G-enabled model that allow users to game at the speed of their mobile lifestyle, including turn-based, asynchronous multiplayer gameplay, instantly updated rankings and leaderboards, immediate access to the latest downloadable add-on content, and real-time community news.

"PlayStation Vita will completely transform the way consumers game on the go, offering new ways to play games and interact with entertainment," said Phil Rosenberg, senior vice president of business development, SCEA, "With access to AT&T's mobile broadband network, PlayStation Vita owners will be able to stay connected with their friends and experience PS Vita's rich social gaming features virtually wherever they are."

The PlayStation Vita 3G/Wi-Fi model will be available in the United States on February 22 for $299. AT&T data plans are priced separately and will be available on a month-to-month basis. Users can easily activate a data plan directly from their PS Vita system. In addition, once PlayStation Vita owners activate their 3G/Wi-Fi unit with one of AT&T's data plans, they will be eligible to choose one free download from a list of select games available on the PlayStation®Store.

For more information on the 3G-enabled lineup for PlayStation Vita, please visit http://us.playstation.com/psvita/att/.