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First Edition Vita Bundles Sell Out, Sony Explains Memory Card Issue

In addition to confirming that Sony "sold out their pre-launch bundles" of the PlayStation Vita, they also explained their reasoning behind the portable's proprietary memory cards.

In speaking to GameSpot, Sony SVP of brand marketing Guy Longworth first reiterated Sony's long-term plans for the Vita (calling it a "5- to 10-year platform") and then answered a popular question concerning those memory cards:

"There are many different types of memory out there, and what we have is a very high-end piece of flash memory that comes in an extraordinarily small size. What we're trying to do is make sure that the gamer has the best possible experience and the proprietary memory we think gives gamers the best possible experience because we can very much control that memory and make sure it's the highest possible quality."

Longworth also reminded everyone that with 26 titles at launch and over 100 in development, the Vita is definitely all about the software. Then he addressed another common question concerning PS1 and PS2 classics, and the fact that they're not ready to play on the handheld at its launch.

"At the moment we're very much focused on getting our new first-party lineup and third-party lineup out there and available for consumers. So that's our focus right now."

This is a new piece of hardware, after all. So perhaps they're right not to focus on games a couple generations old...if that's all the consumers care about, they don't really care about Vita software at all, so why drop the cash for a portable unit that plays old games? At any rate, Sony is likely to keep answering questions for the next couple of weeks while the Vita starts coming into homes in North America and Europe.

Tags: vita, playstation vita, vita memory cards, vita first edition bundles

2/22/2012 8:28:42 PM John Shepard

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (13 posts)

Thursday, February 23, 2012 @ 12:59:46 AM

I recall the XBox was vilified for having expensive proprietary hard drives so I would expect the same things to be said regarding the Vita memory cards.

That is unless additional Vita cards are around the same pricepoint as the equivalent capacity memory cards on the market.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012 @ 2:35:23 AM

Im glad they came out and explained the reasons behind their choices in these situations. Most companies just do what they do and don't explain a damn thing to the consumers. Kudos Sony.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012 @ 5:17:01 AM

spin it however you want, but you released proprietary memory cards for one simple reason!
oh, hang on a sec, you said yous released these proprietary to help stop piracy.
so now which one is it?
my lord, $ony cant open their mouth once without contradicting themselves can they!?
eh, whatever, if you released those proprietary for whatever of those reasons, then why did you do the same for the USB cable?
reason 1 is void, it does not "help" anything, its a MASSIVE pain in the a$$!
i now have to go buy a 3M extension cable when i have 100000 3M a to B USB cables i could of used for it!
reason 2 is void also, how does having a proprietary slot help prevent piracy?
so back to the only reason possible, and the REAL reason why everything is proprietary.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 12 down Disagree with this comment

Thursday, February 23, 2012 @ 6:39:06 PM

You would have to be stupid not to know that Bob with a *class 1* cheap a$$ memory card will have loading times of around 5 mins and probably problems with streaming a game + music from the same card compared to Betty with her *class 10 XL gold platinum* at 119$ for 16gigs loading games in mere seconds and able to play music at the same time she games...

Yeah they are probably turning a profit but they are also insuring quality. Imagine how much crap it would create for devs trying to allow games to handle different cards... Probably tons of crashes and often unstable games... Don't know why I even waste time answering XD You make me think of this vid on youtube: (Its nothing vulgar)

Pretty much hatin on anything you can with as little judgment as you can :D

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Friday, February 24, 2012 @ 8:18:16 AM

then whats wrong with their already proprietary pro duo, or M2 sticks the go uses?
ah f*ck it, getting through to you idiots would be harder then walking on the sun!

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Thursday, February 23, 2012 @ 5:27:48 AM

OMG that's the most sorry excuse of an explanation I think I've ever seen. Ever. Seriously, this is so dumb it's on epic levels, a total embarrassment, it's a quote that qualifies as "joke of the week" on any tech-forum out there.

In fact I'm surprised Slashdot don't already feature a story about this (I had to check). It might have been dismissed as *too* dumb.

This is what happens when a "brand marketing Guy" tries to remedy a marketing headache with a technical excuse.

Last edited by Beamboom on 2/23/2012 5:34:11 AM

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Thursday, February 23, 2012 @ 8:45:42 AM

Oh chill out guys. As far as the memory goes. This is certainly not an unreasonable explanation, if not a little sugar coated.

Have you ever purchased a cheap generic SD card? They work fine for music or transferring files, but for any applications that require reliable high read speeds, they stink. If Vita used microSD cards lots of people would rush out and buy the cheapest/biggest card possible. Then if they experienced really long load times and laggy gameplay, they'd blame the Vita hardware instead of their own cheap asses for not buying quality media.

Developers know exactly what kind of media they're dealing with and can design/test their software running on that media knowing that is the same experience the end user will get. They don't need to worry about their games running poorly, or not at all on inferior memory.

This makes clear and perfect sense to me. Although, we all know an underlying reason for the proprietary media is to help prevent piracy, which was rampant on the PSP. And I don't blame Sony one bit for taking measures to try and prevent that on their new platform. Of course, the pirates will find a way, but it will probably take longer and in the end might not be as easy and accessible for the average Joe to hack his Vita.

As for the PS1 support. It should have been ready for launch. Sorry Sony, you dropped the ball on that one. This is when we need it most. Anyone who's purchased a Vita probably only bought one or two games. We don't have the money and, as impressive a launch line up this is, there aren't THAT many games to choose from just yet. If we could play the PS1 games we've already purchased it would greatly extend our play time early in the Vita's life cycle. Vita owners would be less likely to put it down and forget about it while waiting for a new game they want (or can afford) to buy.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012 @ 9:10:30 AM

That was well said gumbi.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012 @ 1:18:32 PM

lol, I need not reply to this topic, all my work has been done. Awesome reply.

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Friday, February 24, 2012 @ 3:37:47 AM

Stop using reason.

This is the internet, FFS. Only blind ragers allowed.

$ony just wantz ar monies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last edited by Fane1024 on 2/24/2012 3:42:09 AM

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Thursday, February 23, 2012 @ 9:22:20 AM

I for one do not understand all the hate towards the memory cards. While I can't afford buying a Vita because of ME3, Syndicate, RE:ORC and all the other PS3 games I want to buy, I can totally see the price of the Vita as justified. Memory cards and all. And that is with using the Vita's price here where I live. About $400 for the japan model and another $100 or so for the memory card.

Last edited by Veitsknight on 2/23/2012 9:24:16 AM

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Friday, February 24, 2012 @ 3:34:33 PM

Regarding Sony's new Vita memory cards, I took this bench test right from Digital Foundry's recent article called "Tech Focus: The Power of PlayStation Vita"

Question marks also remain over the bespoke memory cards that Sony has chosen to utilize.

Core gamers would more readily accept premium priced products like these if there were a performance benefit but this does not seem to be the case.

Right now, a 16GB Vita card costs £40, while a branded Class 10 micro SD card costs around £15 - a phenomenal level of mark-up.

These are premium priced products that do not appear to be offering any kind of performance advantage over the standard SD/MicroSD cards. Indeed, based on our initial testing, the speed of these cards actually seems to be rather low - a 10GB sync took about 35 minutes, while loading times on WipEout 2048 are remarkably slow.

Sony has mentioned "security concerns" here - something I would suggest shouldn't be paid for by the user, and also mentions the importance of guaranteed read/write speeds.

Performance is certainly important here, particularly when so many games rely upon background streaming in order to overcome memory limitations, but the slow read speeds we've picked up on so far suggest that the Vita format isn't much of a match for the higher class SDHC cards, which are obviously far cheaper. WipEout 2048 is the standout example here, but Uncharted: Golden Abyss is also interesting in that gameplay can be halted by loading - something that doesn't happen on the PS3 games.
Comparisons of "cartridge" performance up against the memory card also suggest that there's not a high-speed bus in operation between game and hardware - WipEout only offers nominal speed increases on cart up against running the game from memory card.

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Thursday, March 01, 2012 @ 7:59:18 AM

give it some time, i am sure somewhere some hacker is working on a work around cartridge/adapter that will allow you to utilize a micro sd memory stick..

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