Sony is using a new proprietary memory format for the PS Vita, abandoning its own MemoryStick format and the widely used SD format, due to performance and, more importantly, security concerns
Sony is facing potential consumer anger against its yet unreleased PS Vita portable console for yet again choosing to use a proprietary storage format, as the company tries to prevent piracy on the console.
Instead using using a common storage format like SD or MicroSD, Sony has decide to use its own proprietary memory card format to store user downloads, games and saves. The console already uses another proprietary card, known as the PlayStation Vita Game Card, to distribute games.
Ironically, Sony has decided against using its own existing proprietary memory card format, MemoryStick, opting to invent a brand new memory card that can only be used with the portable console.
Sources cite this decision was down to security reasons, as Sony tries to prevent what happened with its last portable console, the PSP, which was quickly hacked to allow the playing of pirated games. Sony also says that a proprietary format guarantees the performance of the cards, as opposed to gamers being able to buy cheaper SD cards that would not work properly with certain games.
The PSP used MemoryStick, which could be accessed on PCs, and Sony have learned from that mistake by not allowing the Vita memory card from working on computers as mass storage devices, and users can't interact with the card without using Sony's proprietary software. Unfortunately for gamers, the software will only be available for Windows at the time of launch, this month in Japan and Asia, and in late February in the US.
Sony has also come under attack for the price of these cards, with 16GB cards priced at $69.99, and 32GB cards costing as much as $119.99, GameStop recently revealed. In comparison, a class 10 16GB SD card can be had for as low as $25, while 32GB cards can be had for roughly double this amount.