Sony’s Big Business Idea: Proprietary PS Vita Memory Cards. Why We Hate Them, and They Love Them.
We may love our Vitas, but one thing’s for sure, its proprietary memory cards are a headache. But Sony, they think the opposite. The guy who came up with the idea for the little buggers is probably sitting down somewhere, reveling in the dark about his genius idea. I will take the time in this article to do a full analysis on why we hate PS Vita memory cards, and why they were probably one of the best things to happen to Sony.
From here on out, I will take an aspect of corporate-consumer disagreement and explain the views from each side.
Money and Cost
This is probably the main reason why Sony loves PS Vita memory cards. The ones that they make, are the only option out there. And as in the basic rules of business, less options equals higher prices. Considering that thy made it so that gameplay is virtually impossible without one (even with retail cartridges), if you have a Vita, you have to buy a memory card. With this in mind, Sony made card prices outrageously high., in fact, at least 3 times the amount you’d pay for a SanDisk. And basically, the card is the same as a SanDisk, except for some annoying encryption, but I will talk about that later. This really *** gamers off, but makes Sony a lot of guaranteed money.
Even on the PS Vita 2000, a console with 1GB of internal memory, you have to buy a memory card. 1GB can only hold 1, maybe 2, partially decent games. So you fill that up a say “I’ll just go pick up a 4GB card so I can get a few more.” Then you go buy that 4GB card and put it in. You realize that you lost your 1GB of internal memory. With the PS Vita 2000, you put in a card, you lose you internal memory. It just sits there, wasted. And gamers like us, start to shake a little, with the rage building up inside.
Another problem that we have is the card size. It seems as though Sony learned from their mistakes on this one. Their first attempt at a proprietary card was with the PSP. The made a card much bigger than all other ones. Some people did a bit of rocket science and figured out that you could simply just make an adapter and put in two normal cheapo cards. This time, they made a really small card that is smaller than others, thus no adapter.
Sony doesn’t really give about card size, but we do. When you buy say, a 16GB card, you only have actually 14GB to use. The rest is used by the system for various things (funny how the system worked fine without the card). And even worse, when you get a 64GB card, five freaking gigabytes are not available for your use. This is annoying. Really annoying. I’ll stay on the topic of the 64GB card for a little while longer.
Here in the West, only capacities 4-32 are available for sale. And let me tell you, with the size of games these days, 32GB can fill up pretty damn fast. After your card is filled up, you have to go to an online retailer to get a 64GB card. Here, you drop around $100 for it. When it comes, it’s only about a month until that is filled too. So now, go get a 128GB. But wait, there isn’t one of those? Nope, not yet at least. First, scam us with your outrageous prices, then take a good portion of the space away from us, and next leave us with no space to store our games. Oh, it’s fine, all you have to do is get another card, and take a few seconds to swap them out. No.
You can’t swap PSN accounts on memory cards. Well, I guess you can, but it’s a massive pain. To be able to swap accounts on your card, you have to back up your card, format both it and restore your PS Vita system and then insert the new one. You have to do this for every. Single. Swap. And backing up ain’t quick either (I’ll talk about that under the next header). So, even if you do have different libraries of games on different memory cards, have a fun time swapping them :).
Something that goes hand in hand with the swapping catastrophe is the limit of one PSN account per card. To be able to have more, it’s the same process as swapping cards. Why only one account? On the PS3 and PS4 you can have virtually as many as possible. It’s very paranoia feeding.
If you happen to be one of those constant swappers, for one thing, I praise your patience. For another, you have probably experience the absurd backup and restore times. Reading and writing off of the PS Vita memory card is disgustingly slow. It will take hours to backup, and the same predicament for restoring.
Transfer speeds don’t only affect you for data like that, but it also may affect your gameplay. Playing digital games the system ha to read data off of the card. With this, you may experience lags, bugs, glitches and even crashes. Considering that people play games for pleasure and entertainment, this is not some thing you want to deal with.
Now this is the big hit for the hacking scene and the modding scene. It affects the hacking scene through the pretty obvious fact that encryption ain’t easy to crack. Some big steps were made t cracking the PSP wide open through the unencrypted Memory Stick Duo, but for the Vita, access through the card is helpless.
For modders, or more like the people who could have made a cheap alternative to save our pockets, can’t do their job. The PS Vita system will only accept cards that have the special encryption on them. Again, a no go.
PS Vita memory cards are greatly flawed for their consumers and could use a real upgrade. Sony doesn’t really care, because they are making money, so we’ll just have to sit in the permanent indents on our couches from gaming marathons, and suck it up. Business will rule over the consumer.
That’s all for now from me, The Jay Doctor. Now that you have read my views and outrage causing points, reflect on them in the comments, or on Twitter where you can drop me a line and even follow me if you’d like, using the handy links below. Also feel free to follow Wololo.