I’ve received multiple questions and comments from people regarding the various options to buy microSD Adapters to work on the PS Vita, in particular related to the price one should pay for these. Here’s a detailed explanation of where you can buy, and the expected prices.
Disclaimer: please note that eBay and Amazon links in the article below are affiliate links. You don’t pay anything extra by using those links, but we get a small commission on the sale. With that being said, I’m doing my best to adequately report on multiple sides of the topic here. In particular, we are not affiliated with any of the sellers or manufacturers of these cards.
Your three options are as follows:
buy your adapter from a reputable source close to the scene (e.g. from Modsiah, Srident, or /talk user JhonDoeA) for a slightly higher price (typically $10 to $20 including shipping). These folks typically have the latest design and test each adapter.
Solder it yourself (cost about $30 to make 10, including all necessary tools, solder iron, etc… See below for details). Good learning experience plus you can give some away to your friends (or open an eBay business).
None of these options is objectively worse or better than the others, it depends on your situation. Personally, I’d go with the lowest cost option I can find, then again I’m cheap. And I’ve been called out for recommending adapters that some people are saying are low quality, so I wanted to show both sides of the coin.
Modsiah’s version of the adapter
What are those SD2Vita microSD Adapters anyway?
If you own a hacked PS Vita running on firmware 3.60, you can enable a community driver that will let you use a microSD card in the game card slot. This lets you use microSD cards on the PS Vita for huge storage benefits compared to the pricey proprietary memory cards from Sony. The SD Card can then be used to store homebrews and the like.
Should you pay $3 or $15 for your SD2Vita adapter?
The main debate around these MicroSD adapters is whether you should be paying $3 or $15 for them. In practice, the base materials cost less than $1. As such, it’s safe to to think that $5, including shipping, is a reasonable price for the device. Chinese manufacturers with economy of scale are able to still make a profit by selling those for $3 including shipping. Among others, Yifan Lu has stated that these cheap adapters do the job: it’s difficult to mess up soldering with such a simple design.
However some people have reported issues with some of these cheap adapters. It’s likely that for that price they are not thoroughly tested, and you kind of get what you pay for. Then again, you could order 3 or 4 of these to hedge against that risk. It would still be cheaper than $15, and with a high chance of having more than one that works (in particular if you order from multiple sellers for that price).
On the other side of the discussion is scene members who are selling the adapters for $15+. Because they’re individuals, they don’t have the economy of scale that Chinese manufacturers do, in particular for the time spent soldering, testing, and sending the devices. From this perspective, the service offered by folks such as Srident and Modsiah could be worth the additional cost for you, if you’re looking for peace of mind. These two sellers also guarantee that you get the latest design of the adapter, which is known to address some issues. To quote Yifan Lu:
Many people are still using xyz’s original design which was not routed optimally, had some minor issues with pin size/spacing, and had test points that need to be insulated (i.e. with tape) for it to work. The current recommended design is from Gadorach
The conclusion is that both have their pros and cons. What you shouldn’t do however is pay $15 for a poorly manufactured adapter, in which case you would be getting the worst of both worlds. If you are willing to pay $15 for the adapter, our current recommendation is to directly get the adapter from Srident of Modsiah. Otherwise, go with a cheap one from eBay. If you go through eBay (the case for most links in this article except for Srident) you’re protected by eBay/paypal if you’re not satisfied with the product you receive.
Note: currently Srident is taking orders through his own site, not eBay. Many people have told me they’d rather order through a trusted platform like eBay. Sadly Srident has confirmed he cannot use eBay at the moment.
The DIY route
Yifanlu advocates for creating the adapter yourself. This is a reasonably easy project to get yourself used to soldering, and the hacker mentions that for a total of $30, you can get all the materials needed to create 10 adapters by yourself. That price includes the soldering iron, which you will be able to reuse in the future.
Although this might not be for everyone, it’s difficult to argue against the return on investment here: for $30, you get a solid learning experience (with associated “I did it on my own” bragging rights), a soldering iron, and 10 microSD adapters which you can give away or easily resell for $5 each. Yes, you could definitely net a profit.
Although going the DIY route sounds like a cool project, not everyone has the time or motivation to do that. For those who are looking for an adapter working out of the box, cheap ones sold on eBay should in general do the trick. If you’d rather get the security of a trusted member of the scene, pay a bit more and get your adapter from JhonDoeA, Srident or Modsiah.
Where did you get your SD2Vita Adapter? Are you satisfied with the results and the price? Leave your feedback in the comments!