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The PlayStation Vita is a handheld video game console that the Sony company produced from 2012 until 2019. Although the company discontinued the manufacturing of this device, it still retains a strong following of dedicated gamer fans today.
During its time, the Vita used a combination of buttons, joysticks, and a touchscreen to let players interact with the games of their choice. Sony’s intent was to create a small console that offers the same experience as its larger cousins.
The original PS Vita uses specialized memory cards for game downloads, storage, and data recovery. Some gamers interested in purchasing the PS Vita for themselves may wonder if they could use multiple such memory cards on a single PS Vita platform.
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Can You Use Multiple Memory Cards on the PS Vita?
In many cases, Sony uses proprietary formats for the memory and storage devices compatible with its consoles. The PS Vita is no exception, and the unit needs a special card that does not work in other systems.
Furthermore, players can’t use similar sticks or memory devices to store data from the PS Vita. However, console owners can purchase or install memory cards with different storage capacities to meet gaming needs.
Once players have one of these cards, they must connect it to their PlayStation Network Account. The PSN is Sony’s digital storefront and online gaming component. Thanks to the PlayStation Network, gamers can connect, participate in various online social activities, share profiles or gaming data, list their in-game trophies, and more.
In addition, the network also allows members to try out different games, and it can facilitate online competitive or cooperative gameplay.
Players will need to sync their PS Vita consoles to the same account they use on the network. Once they do, they can use the memory cards of their choice in their handheld consoles. These cards will sync up with a player’s PSN profile, and it needs to be the same one to which they registered their Vita. Otherwise, some gamers may have issues getting the storage function of their memory card to work correctly.
Although Sony placed some restrictions on how players could use the memory cards, gamers can still use multiple memory cards with a single Vita. Each card must connect with a particular console’s player profile.
However, compatibility with cards of various sizes means that players can expand their storage choices and options.
Newcomers to the PS Vita should remember that swapping out cards means that the console must rebuild the database each time it detects the new storage unit.
Therefore, the larger the memory card is, the longer it will take the device to reconstitute the database. However, larger cards may be ideal for players who know they will download and play many games on a single Vita.
Why Are PS Vita Memory Cards So Expensive?
A few factors contribute to the overall cost of the PS Vita memory card. For starters, most kinds of proprietary technology will have a higher price tag than any counterparts for the general market. Because Sony developed special memory units dedicated to the Vita, the cost was greater than that of some similar devices that might use more than one type of memory.
Similarly, Sony priced them at a rate that helped subsidize the console’s initial production and release costs. Although the Vita sold relatively well in its first year of distribution, it was still going up against heavy competition from other technology companies and their portable consoles.
Further, Vita’s sales waned after that first year, making it less profitable than Sony had anticipated at launch. These factors meant Sony could not use economies of scale to its advantage.
Now that Sony does not manufacture new units of the PS Vita console anywhere, it has little reason to bring down the price of the available memory cards on the market.
With some players still making up a strong base of fans for the Vita today, they need to purchase whatever cards are still available for their consoles. Unfortunately, it makes the consoles and cards somewhat rarer, resulting in high prices.
Does PS Vita Come With a Memory Card?
At launch, PS Vita systems did not come with memory cards as part of the package. Therefore, players must purchase a card separately to use the console.
After the initial launch, some retailers sold bundled Vita systems. These bundles included the Vita console, a memory card, and perhaps a game compatible with the Vita. For some time, this was the only way PS Vita owners could get it from particular retail locations.
Further, not every retail location sold these Vita packages. In these cases, some gamers might still have the option to purchase a base model Vita. For example, the 2000 model version of the console came with a gigabyte of internal storage that players could use for games and save data.
Players who might be unsure about this could check the front of the box in which the PS Vita comes. In addition, there should be a small graphic on specific models that looks like a tiny memory card. It signals that the particular Vita console inside should include a memory card you can use immediately.
Can You Use Your PS Vita Without Any Memory Card?
You can use your PS Vita with no memory card. However, this depends on what you want to do with the console. Some titles you can get for the Vita are small enough that you can play them just using the system’s own internal memory.
Many games are too large to do this, however. If unsure, you can find appropriate lists of games that might be small enough to use this memory type. Conversely, some games will ask you to insert a memory card before you can play them.
One thing you might be able to do is to play a particular title right from its PS Vita cartridge. It means you would play a physical game without using an internal memory or a card.
However, much like the games that can work on Vita’s internal memory, there are not very many titles that save data directly to their cartridges. Most of the games that will do this are older ones.
For almost all the other games that came to the Vita in later years, you need a memory card that connects to the console to play. On a related note, memory cards that work with the PS Vita are also necessary for saving game data. It is true even if you have space on the internal system memory.
In addition, many titles for the Vita require a memory card to save progress. Without one, you would have to start games over each time you wanted to play. So, while memory cards are not required to enjoy some games or features that the Vita offers, they are necessary to get the console’s full functionality.
The PlayStation Vita is a handheld console that can offer several exciting titles to gamers. Additionally, players can use a remote play feature to access many PlayStation 4 titles on the handheld screens of their Vitas.
Although the small console can support some games through its internal memory, most titles need a memory card to save game progress. Those that do may not let players start them at all.
However, once they link things up with their PlayStation Network accounts, players can use many cards that have various storage sizes to save digital games and data to a single Vita console.