Australians who pre-ordered the 3G version of the PlayStation Vita through JB Hi-Fi found a rather nasty surprise in their email box this morning. The retailer informed customers that their pre-orders have been cancelled.
JB Hi-Fi had to cancel the pre-orders due to their contractual obligations with telecommunications carrier Telstra. Since Sony has partnered with dierct competitor Vodaphone for 3G service in Australia, none of the orders could be fulfilled.
The email that JB Hi-Fi sent to these customers read in part:
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.
JB Hi-Fi has reported only a small number of complaints regarding its inability to stock the 3G PS Vita. A company rep had the following to say on the matter:
[This is] the first call we’ve had about the decision, so we don’t think it’ll make too much of an impact
Telstra and customers of other telecoms aren’t out of luck when it comes to the PlayStation Vita. Even though Vodaphone is the exclusive carrier, chosen by Sony, the handheld is not locked to any specific carrier. Once purchased, a SIM card from any supported 3G carrier can be used with the device.
Both PS Vita models are expected to launch on February 23, one day after the North American launch.