PS Vita Memory Cards are Stupidly Expensive

Look at this link.

That’s right — you can get an 8gb SD card for under $5. This stuff is cheap. Sony doesn’t want you to know that, though, because they’re going to be charging out the ass for their proprietary PS Vita memory cards.

The smallest possible card, the 4gb one, comes with a ¥2,200 ($29) price tag. The largest card, at 32gb, comes with a ¥9,500 ($123) price. That’s just about f–king nuts, and it gets even worse when you realize the Vita does not include a memory card. Hidden costs, indeed.


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4 Comments on PS Vita Memory Cards are Stupidly Expensive


On September 14, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Here we go again. I swear Sony is their own worst enemy. If I was a competitor I’d just sit back and let them shoot themselves in the foot. PspGo was a disaster and this proprietary nonsense just puts a very bad taste in my mouth. I don’t think I’ll buy it simply for that reason now, at least not on release. I’ll wait 2-3 years and get the improved version with lower price.


On September 14, 2011 at 3:11 pm

I can already see the Vita confusing the average consumer.

Firstly, the Vita doesn’t come with internal memory. This is a unusual choice in the world of handhelds considering everything up until now comes with some form of fixed internal memory storage (resulting in several SKUs). Even your cellphones come with some form of internal memory, whether you know it or not. Anything you add later is just “extra”.

For Vita, Sony has instead opted for a storage media slot that serves a dual purpose (system memory for apps and media storage). What this does (according to Sony) is give the consumer the option to decide/upgrade based on their memory usage and needs. For Sony, its win/win since it avoids the need to have several SKUs whose only difference is the memory capacity (think of the several SKUs the PS3 has gone through in its lifetime). It also alows the system to “grow” somewhat with memory demands of later applications.

Whether having this type of media storage memory is going to be an enforcable mandatory feature to play a game, I don’t know at this point. I would imagine the Vita’s OS is still kept internal. I also imagine anything you download from PSN (movies, games, MP3s) will require this storage. But the game slot, the OTHER memory card slot, has nothing to do with this media slot. Since Sony is touting that the game media format will not necessarily be read-only, that means the developers will get the option to reserve some writable space on them. This means devs can dedicate some space for the game itself for stuff like save game files, screenshots, scratch space, etc. With that in mind, I see the media slot storage as a luxury.

Without knowing the specs of the media slot format, it’s hard to say if those prices are unreasonable. The flash memory Phil linked to has a burst read of 2MB/sec. My Intel Solid State Drive has a burst read of 200MB/s. My point being, not all flash memory is the same.

One of the reasons of keeping system memory internal on embedded devices is speed. Flash memory, specifically the SD variant cards found in cameras and phones, in stark comparison to the internal memory you find on cellphone is unbearably slow. However, flash is getting faster and cheaper, so that gap is closing every year.

If I were to guess, Sony made a tradeoff of speed vs. convenience here. I imagine there are some hidden caches and memory controllers on the Vita to try and hide any speed tradeoff of going external memory. And I think Sony is being very quiet about Vita’s internal features anyway. Once the public gets a hold of Vita, I’m sure some tech geek will dissect it and reveal its secrets.


On September 17, 2011 at 12:57 am

I got excited when I read that the PS Vita was region free. But, like JosephPS3 said, I’ll wait maybe a year or so and then get the revised version once they improve the battery life and prices are lower. In the meantime… my dollars will go towards an Ipad 2.


On September 20, 2011 at 4:18 pm

It seems like i’ll have to save more money in order to get one. u.u I can wait only 6 months to get one after it’s relase because i don’t want to wait so much in order to play mi favorites video games. At least i think we can save in our ps3 or internet.