We've just gotten confirmation from JB Hi-Fi that the retailer will no longer be taking pre-orders for, or selling, the 3G version of the PlayStation Vita and is limiting its stock to the Wi-Fi version of the console only.
Consumers who had already pre-ordered through JB Hi-Fi's online store have now received emails stating the following:
We have just been advised that ‘PLAYSTATION VITA CONSOLE (3G/WIFI) [PRE ORDER BONUS HEADPHONES + DLC]’ is no longer available for order through the JB Hifi Online Store.
Unfortunately, we have now been forced to cancel this item from your order, or cancel the order if it was a single item order (this may take up to 24 hours to update in your order history).
However, you can still order the Wifi Version. I have included a link below for your perusal.
Please note – We only process payment when an order has been dispatched out from our warehouse. You have not been charged for this order.
We do regret any inconvenience that this has caused you.
The JB Hi-Fi Online Team
Apparently the reason for JB's change of heart has been Sony's decision to announce Vodafone as its preferred 3G partner for the PlayStation Vita.
"As Telstra dealers we have an agreement to not stock Vodafone products in our stores," said an official spokesperson from JB Hi-Fi.
The 3G version of the PlayStation Vita comes packaged with a Vodafone SIM card, but the console isn't tied to one specific network. Users can just as easily use another SIM card with the PlayStation Vita.
"We've decided to just keep it simple," said the JB Hi-Fi rep, when we informed him of this."This is actually the first call we've had about the decision, so we don't think it'll make too much of an impact."
IThe 3G version of the PlayStation Vita has already drew the ire of some consumers for being overpriced when compared to the regular Wi-fi version. JB Hifi has a lion's share of the games market in Australia, so this may contribute to the Wi-Fi version of the PS Vita being the most popular choice when the handheld is released on February 23.