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    Ex-Sony Employee Explains Why PS Vita's Proprietary Memory

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    Carlos Laforet Coll

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    As the PS Vita's lifespan dwindles, a number of curious people have asked a former Sony employee about the powerful handheld video game.

    With the news that PS3, PSP and PS Vita PlayStation stores will be closing, some attention is being paid to Sony's forgotten handhelds. The closure of the PlayStation Store for these consoles is a shame considering the hundreds of older games found in the store that are not available on the PS4 or PS5. But with more people talking about the PS Vita, some of its more quirky qualities are being highlighted, including the strange decision to exclusively use proprietary memory.

    The PS Vita was never able to capture the portable device market in the same way as the 3DS. Despite boasting impressive specs (for the time), the system never had the appeal that kept the 3DS running well in the Switch era. It wasn't for lack of trying. PS Vita has an impressive catalog of titles, including some excellent Vita RPGs that really showcase the system's capabilities.

    One of the things that may have held up Sony's laptop was the unusual choice to go with a new proprietary memory card, a decision discussed at length by a former Sony employee during a Reddit AMA. Expensive Vita cards (a 32GB card sold for $120 at launch) were prioritized by Sony due to hacking concerns in the wake of an infamous PlayStation Network hack in 2011. Data breaches are a concern for security companies. games, as well as tech companies like Facebook, so Sony's decision to use proprietary memory is understandable.

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    While the switch to proprietary – and much more expensive – memory cards was made for reasons that make sense, both for the company and with the intention of making them safer for consumers, the choice left Vita users stuck. to pay a high price to store data in the handheld video game. Despite the cost associated with memory cards, fans still point out how underrated the PS Vita is. He tried a number of things unique to the Sony ecosystem, like Remote Play and internet connectivity on the go, which would only become more common in future gaming devices.

    Production on the PS Vita was halted in 2019, and with the closure of the Vita PlayStation Store, support for the console appears to be coming to an end. The PS5 has already surpassed the lifetime sales of the PS Vita, and with Nintendo (and smartphones) so completely dominating the mobile gaming scene, it seems unlikely that another Vita will be released. While proprietary memory cards might not be what worked on the Vita, they were an odd choice for an already odd device.

    cast: Reddit

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