Sony PlayStation Vita debuts in Japan on December 17th, partnering with NTT DoCoMo for 3G (updated)

Sony's just announced in Tokyo that the PlayStation Vita will debut in Japan on December 17th, and it'll partner with NTT DoCoMo for the console's prepaid 3G service. Customers will have two choices of connection here: 980 yen ($13) for 20 hours, and 4,980 yen ($65) for 100 hours -- see press release after the break. Alas, the rest of the world will still have to wait until 2012, but you'll know more concrete dates as soon as we do. For now, head over to our sister site Joystiq for the SCEJ press conference liveblog.

Update: Capcom's Yoshinori Ono came on stage to mention that Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 would launch simultaneously with the console. Square Enix also announced that the PS2's Final Fantasy X will be remastered for the PS Vita, and it'll be in PS3-like quality; sadly, there was no date nor demonstration.

Update 2: The first 500 units sold will come with 100 hours of prepaid 3G connectivity. Want in? Pre-orders open on October 15th.

Update 3: We now have a video demonstration of the Vita's interface. Enjoy!

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DOCOMO to Introduce Two Prepaid Data Billing Plans

TOKYO, JAPAN, September 14, 2011 --- NTT DOCOMO, INC. today announced it will introduce two prepaid billing plans, "Prepaid Data Plan 20h" and "Prepaid Data Plan 100h," for 3G data communication in Japan this coming December. The plans will first be implemented for Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.'s next generation portable entertainment system, "PlayStation®Vita (3G/Wi-Fi model)," which will be launched in Japan, on December 17.

Prepaid Data Plan 20h will cost 980 yen (incl. tax) for 20 hours of access to the DOCOMO 3G network (max. 128 Kbps downlink / 64 Kbps uplink) over a 30-day period.

Prepaid Data Plan 100h will cost 4,980 yen (incl. tax) for 103 hours of network access (max. 128 Kbps downlink / 64 Kbps uplink) over a 180-day period, which includes three hours of access at max. speeds of 14 Mbps downlink and 5.7 Mbps uplink in FOMA™ HIGH-SPEED areas of the DOCOMO 3G network.

To begin using either plan, or to resume using prepaid billing after allowing either plan to expire, a fee of 2,100 yen will be charged for issuing a new DOCOMO UIM card. In the case of PlayStation®Vita (3G/Wi-Fi model), however, this fee will be waived for first-time users and a DOCOMO UIM card will be preinstalled in the system, as a special campaign from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

Renewal must be carried out within 44 days (30 days of service use, plus 14 additional days) for Prepaid Data Plan 20h, or 194 days (180 days of service use, plus 14 additional days) for Prepaid Data Plan 100h. If the user's plan is not renewed within this period and is allowed to expire, resumption of prepaid service at a later date will require the issuance of a new UIM card for a fee of 2,100 yen.

DOCOMO will launch a special website where users can subscribe to, renew or change their plans, as well as check their remaining access time and days.