The PS Vita's Memory Cards Cost Less Than Expected, But Still Essentially Mandatory

The bad news is you still have to buy a new proprietary memory card for your PS Vita. The good news is it won't cost as much as originally feared. Of course, the better news would be that you didn't have to buy them at all.

Alas, you still do. But the official pricing, included with all the other accessories in today's launch lineup announcement, comes in $US10 less for the 4GB card ($19.99) and $US20 less for the super-size 32GB card ($99.99). The 8GB and 16GB cards will cost $US29.99 and $US59.99, respectively, according to Sony.

The memory is, effectively, not optional, and one of the more unfortunate (and expensive) hidden costs in a gaming platform. Though not all titles will require it, additional memory is necessary for gamesaves, downloadable games, and any downloadable content. Whatever storage comes onboard the Vita can't be used for those purposes.

You may recall earlier rumours that downloadable PlayStation Network versions of retail games would get a discount, presumably to offset the cost of a memory stick and to drive consumers to Sony as a retailer (and, as a future effect, minimize used game trade-ins and sales). Sony Computer Entertainment America declined to comment on this when first reported. We broached the matter with an SCEA rep again today and were told to expect some communication in the future on the matter. It wasn't a denial, but it wasn't a confirmation, either.


Comments

    If they had go proprietary, which they don't they could have at least stuck with memory sticks as psp owners could re-use them.I see this as a quick cash grab and see it as a worrying trend.Will the ps4 use proprietary hard disks?proprietary video cables?Etc..I expect this kinda stuff from MS but not sony or nintendo for that matter.No free on-line on ps4 calling it now.

      I suspect that they chose a proprietary format so that the only memory card readers available on the market will be PS Vitas.

      If there is no expectation that you can plug the memory card into a computer and read its contents, they can do things like e.g. perform whole device encryption using a key not present on the card. And even if you can access the memory card by connecting a Vita to your computer via USB, it might hide a section of the card used for license and encryption key storage.

      I agree that the move is a bit anti-consumer, but I can certainly see some reasons why it might be desirable if you were developing a DRM scheme.

        This. I'm not sure where they'd be stored but I suspect it would be very easy to fake trophy gain, that would ruin the trophy system entirely if you were able to fake all of the Vita ones.

      lol what? Sony is known for loving proprietary formats... Betamax, digital audio tape, minidisc, MemoryStick and UMD.

        + betacam and bluray (which i love)

      I think the proprietary format is to ensure the performance is the same on every system. Last thing Sony need is people complaining because their "cheap" memory card couldn't be accessed fast enough by the Vita for the game to run smoothly.

        In that regard though, Sony should have just made the memory inbuilt.

    $40 difference for the 16gb to 32gb is much more reasonable than the 110 difference I paid for my 32gb iPad2.

    Essentially mandatory or mandatorily essential?

    So we will probably get the customary Aussie tax on these - so if i want a Vita i shouldn't expect to pay about $380 for the Wi-fi Version with 4GB (which really isn't going to be enough i fear for even just the patches and everyday saves for the entire lifetime of the handheld) so i really should get the 8GB with Wi-Fi which is most likely going to cost me $400... might wait for a price drop/model revision after all.

    AU Prices...

    4Gb Memory Card – $26.95 AUD
    8Gb Memory Card – $44.95 AUD
    16Gb Memory Card – $64.95 AUD

    We aren't getting the 32Gb version for some reason?!?!
    http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2011/12/22/playstation-vita-ar-cards-bundled-free-at-launch/

    So your scenario means either
    Vita WiFi $349 + 4GB $26.95 = $375.95
    or
    Vita WiFi $349 + 8GB $44.95 = $393.95

    GAME is giving away Ridge Racer with pre-orders, even though it's half a game, but that's at least something

      That was partially a reply to matt30822

      :)

      Wow TBH i was surprised i got that close to guessing it. Well if those are the prices then i will definitely wait it out.

    steadily losing interest.

      +1

      don't really want to outlay more than $300 for a portable gaming device... I might just wait for them to drop in price :)

    Shock?
    Sony skimming fat margins on consumable media.

    $65 for 16GB isn't TOO bad really and I pre-ordered one of those from EB (first place to offer them, lucky since they just raised prices, which they keep changing on all the Vita stuff! Something shady going on here...). 4GB for $25 is pretty good if you don't plan on downloading a lot.

    I will be pre-ordering my Vita with game. Free Ridge Racer. Even if its really small, it sweetens the deal.

    Will be getting my games from JB HI FI online with free post.
    $49 for Wipeout and $59 for Uncharted are the best I've found so far.

    I've also got a $50 voucher to use for GAME. Will probably use it for Gravity Rush or Unit 13.

      Gravity Rush is download only.

    The only reason they are proprietary mainly due to the lack of ability they had at kerbing piracy on the psp, and really the last thing you want is devs holding out on the handheld because of this. The pricing isnt that bad, and i would expect to come down in price over time, and my money is on packs being done to grab pre-orders mid-late january, so i'll expect case, 4GB memory card and a game popping up at some retailers.

    Isn't there a law in australia that prevents something being sold without "essential" add-ons

    This was is the reason that PC's can't be sold wihtout an operating system unless requested by the customer.

      I don't think so, also it would be difficult to prove that a memory card is mandatory -- IIRC Uncharted is the only game that requires a memory card (one or two other may also be unable to save but still run).

      Though i do agree SONY should of included a memory card (even if it was a crappy 512mb one or something).

    These prices are nowhere near as bad as I had anticipated. Hopefully by the time I can actually afford a Vita I can find them even cheaper.

    4 the love of God sony, dont screw this up like u did with the psp

    $1000 each if you're in australia, courtesy of Gerry Harvey.

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