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PlayStation Vita  header logo


Vita memory cards now locked to specific PSN accounts

You know, just to make them that bit more rubbish

Product: PlayStation Vita | Manufacturer: Sony Computer Entertainment
PlayStation Vita PS Vita, thumbnail 1
We're not huge fans of the PS Vita memory card system here at Pocket Gamer.

As I wrote earlier this year
, they are expensive and only come in small sizes, which is a pain given that Sony is currently pushing the digital revolution on the handheld. Download just a handful of games and you'll need to fork out yet another £35.

It sounds crazy, then, that Sony could make its memory cards even less accessible. Yet, with the latest Vita hardware update, it has done just that - by locking memory cards to specific Vita devices.

If you attempt to swap to a different PSN account on your Vita, you'll be presented with the following error, as captured on camera by a NeoGAF user:

Essentially, whichever PSN account is using the memory card is now the only one that can gain access to its contents. Otherwise, you have to format the card to use it with another account.

Memory cards were always locked to a specific Vita, but never to a specific account. So, beforehand you could freely swap to a different account and continue to use your memory card data.

This move will be particularly irritating for those people who want to take advantage of the PSone Classics functionality but who have PSone games bought on other PSN accounts.

Many people cite the PS Vita's memory cards as one of the main reasons they won't buy the device. It's incredible that rather than making the device more accessible for users in order to build up its userbase, Sony seems intent on doing precisely the opposite.

Reviewer photo
Mike Rose 28 August 2012
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Show: Latest | Oldest
Oct 2012
Post count:
Kent Smith | 09:18 - 3 October 2012
I have a master PSN account - my son has a sub PSN account. He has stuff he cannot access - music unlimited, facebook, youtube, twitter, flickr, etc (why some of these are restricted ignoring the parental settings I configure I have no idea). If I want to use it his Vita and use these things, or play one of his games where I am at a different level/tropies, etc, I have to log on. I used to be able to go through the convoluted process of switching accounts - which was bad enough, but it still kept all his apps, games, music, video on the Vita though. Now if I do it, it wipes all his stuff, and when he logs in, it wipes all mine. Crazy! And where's remote play Sony?!
Sep 2012
Post count:
@realofficialjoe | 10:43 - 6 September 2012
It's still the price of the memory cards that's stopped me getting a Vita. I refuse to pay 4 or 5 times the price, plus the capacities are shite...

I agree with Axe99 that hardware pirates are probably responsible for Sony using custom-design memory cards though he seems to miss the point that they have nothing to do with Sony ripping people off with sky high prices...

Aug 2012
Post count:
An Tran | 05:57 - 29 August 2012
This makes a little sense as a business move for Sony. This also makes sense as a way of telling the Japanese to buy less Vitas then they already are, if that was for whatever reason their true goal.
Aug 2012
Post count:
Ratwerks | 04:53 - 29 August 2012
...and second biggest reason for me not to buy a Vita. (First being one account per device)

I have multiple accounts due to language issues where I live. I don't speak or read the native language and I want my PSN downloads in English. Apparently this is not acceptable to Sony.
Feb 2012
Post count:
Axe99 | 22:47 - 28 August 2012
@Andy - exactly, why people are getting their knickers in a knot over this, when they could only ever use one account on a Vita and knew so from launch, reflects on the level of intelligence of the people getting all excited. And if people are looking for someone to blame, have a go at hardware pirates. This is _also_ a more expensive proposition for Sony than just running with standard SD cards, and easily more of a pain, _if_ there weren't bottom-feeding scum that didn't like to pay developers for their work. Just a shame so many humans are just leeches in a vertebrate skin.
Aug 2012
Post count:
Mr Bendel | 19:05 - 28 August 2012
really only affects people who have multiple accounts - which I think is uncommon for the vita.

It's not like you can't sell the cards used - they just need to be reformatted. I don't think anyone would ever even notice if it wasn't brought up because of the internet.
Aug 2012
Post count:
@VexedFilms | 12:51 - 28 August 2012
This is why I don't buy Sony gaming products - they like to tinker with products after purchase. Removing features like nobodies business.

It's like me selling you milk then coming round for a tall glass the next day, without permission of course.
Jul 2011
Post count:
aros | 11:37 - 28 August 2012
Several games that were making me want the device were revealed, followed by news that heavily puts me off. Bad move Sony.