3DS and PSP 2 could have 3G support, maybe

Would a constantly connected handheld be a better iPhone competitor?

Japanese wireless carrier NTT DoCoMo wants to put 3G network access on future handheld gaming systems, potentially including the 3DS and whatever succeeds the PSP.

The company's president, Ryuji Yamada, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, "Videogame makers know that in order for portable game machines to take the next step forward, they need wireless communication. We are discussing this with various players."

We assume Nintendo and Sony are "players," but both companies declined to comment.

The idea of a 3G-enabled 3DS (maybe a second model?), or new 3G PSP, doesn't seem all that far-fetched. 3G connectivity would be useful for more than downloading and playing games - a host of applications, similar to those on Android and the iPhone OS, could be made available. So, basically, the addition of 3G would turn handhelds into game-centric iPhones, just without the phone (though the iPhone is barely a phone as it is).

Would you be willing to pay a monthly fee for an always-connected 3DS or PSP successor? Is Wi-Fi enough?

UPDATE: Looks like we misseda juicytidbit in the WSJ article:

"Sony is developing a portable device that shares characteristics of hand-held game machines, e-book readers and netbook computers, according to people familiar with the matter."

Oh really? What is this mystery device? Could it be a new PSP, or something entirely different?Sony's iPad competitor, perhaps? Is it calledPlayView?

Jul 8, 2010

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Associate Editor, Digital at PC Gamer
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