With the PlayStation Vita launching next month, the thorny issue of proprietary accessories has reared its head again. Sony’s handheld requires you to buy its own memory cards, at the cost of your wallet.
The PlayStation Vita uses its own proprietary memory card, meaning that gamers can’t simply purchase a standard SD memory card to save their data. The Vita isn’t even compatible with the Memory Stick Duo, the proprietary memory card used by Vita’s predecessor, the PSP.
Cost of the PlayStation Vita’s memory cards
With the download of flagship title Uncharted: The Golden Abyss reportedly weighing in at 3.5 gigabytes (GB), Vita owners are going to need a lot of memory for their new handheld.
And not only will gamers have to stick to Vita’s own memory cards, they’ll have to buy them separately, since Sony isn’t bundling one in with the handheld.
Sure, you don’t have to download games for your Vita, you can buy them on the high street instead, but you’ll going to find it very difficult to enjoy your handheld without a memory card.
So, let’s take a look at the prices for Vita memory cards on Amazon.co.uk: a 4GB card will set you back £14.99, 8GB will be £27.99 and 16GB will cost £39.99. In contrast, a standard 16GB SD card would set you back around £10. That doesn’t quite look like value for money.
Are you annoyed by proprietary accessories?
When Nintendo launched its 3DS last year, not only did it take standard SD memory cards, it even came with one. A smart move by all accounts, so why didn’t Sony follow?
Sony might argue that it’s using proprietary memory cards to help tackle piracy, but that didn’t really help the PSP, nor Microsoft’s Xbox 360 from being affected by illegal copies of games.
Proprietary devices and formats are nothing new. From ebooks to bizarre headphone jacks on mobile phones, the Xbox 360’s hard drive to Apple’s iPhone data cables; it looks like they’re here to stay. Whilst they might provide a useful revenue stream for manufacturers, they’re a pain for consumers.
I can’t be the only one who has wasted time hunting for a USB cable, just because the five I have in front of me don’t fit my device. It’s frustrating to say the least, and when I’m looking to buy new tech, I see a lack of proprietary accessories and ports as a huge bonus. Why should we have to put up with them?