Playstation Vita launches in US, with memory card angst

The Playstation Vita goes on sale in one of the most important video game markets today, but if you actually want to take advantage of the system you’ll need some extra cash.

One thing that consumers around the country are realizing today is that the Vita does not come with a memory card. Here’s the problem – a memory card is required to do just about anything on the device.

Want to play a game that you bought at the store? You need a memory card, even if you don’t want to create a game save file. Want to test out the camera? You need a memory card, even if you just want to see what the camera app’s controls are like. Want to download an app or game from the Playstation Store? You need a memory card.

There is a minimal amount of storage built into the system but this is only enough to power the firmware and other incidental functions. If you want to do anything at all with your Vita, you’ll need a memory card.

The other problem is that Vita memory cards are proprietary. So don’t expect to just pop in a microSD card you have lying around. In other words, that $250 sticker price you see in the store is misleading. Some stores, like Best Buy, are charging as much as $20 for a measly 4 GB card, and up to $100 for a 32 GB card.

So if you want all that the Vita has to offer, expect to pay upwards of another hundred bucks. It is perhaps a bit misleading, especially since the relatively low $250 price point was touted as one of the system’s most attractive characteristics.

The Vita has a lot of questions to face, not the least of which is whether or not there is actually a place in the market for a dedicated gaming device in a world of iPhones and tablets.