Sony is teaming up with Virgin Media here in the UK for the launch of the PlayStation 4, with the goal of helping gamers hook up a reliable Internet connection and get the most out of their new console.
The Japanese gaming giant last night announced the PS4 will hit the UK on 29 November. As part of the launch it said it recognised always-on broadband isn't a given for everyone in Europe, so it's partnering with Internet providers across the continent.
Sony's Jim Ryan implied that will mean bandwidth reserved for gaming -- so, potentially, if you're on a PS4 deal with Virgin you'll know you'll always have the minimum speeds necessary for a playable online connection. That hasn't been confirmed, however.
"What does that mean exactly? Well, there's going to be loads of exciting benefits for our customers but we have to keep the details under wraps for the time being," said Jon James, Virgin's executive director of broadband and digital entertainment, in a blog post.
"We're already hard at work with [Sony] to make this the best entertainment experience for gamers across the country," he added.
Other possible benefits might include a cheap PS4 for new customers. Similar deals have been struck with Ono in Spain, Orange in France and T-Mobile in Germany.
While Sony won the hearts of gamers everywhere by eschewing the always-online connection initially required by the Xbox One, Internet connectivity is at the heart of its vision of future gaming, as shown off in this dudebro-heavy promo video:
You, the glorious British gaming public, can get your calloused thumbs on the PS4 next month at the Eurogamer Expo, in London's Earl's Court from 26-29 September. Virgin is the show's main sponsor and promises demonstrations of its ultrafast 1Gb connection. Imagine that! Something downloading, before your very eyes! Book your tickets now, kids.
What kind of incentives would Virgin have to offer to get you on board? Is it worth changing ISP for better ping? Let me know in the comments, or on our ultrafast Facebook page.