Sony says it is serious about deterring Vita pirates

For some of us, the relatively lackluster response to Sony’s PSP made perfect sense, as the handheld console boasted only halfway decent graphics and lacked appealing games.

Of course, it was somewhat of a vicious circle, as game devs and publishers claimed they didn’t like coding titles for the PSP – because it was supposedly far too easy to pirate games since the system used a common memory card format.

But now Gamasutra reports that Sony reps are talking up the Vita’s piracy protection, saying the concept was key in the original design and specifications for the new PS Vita.

Indeed, the Japanese-based corporation apparently wants the console to appeal to both developers and gamers, because one group can’t survive without the other.

Without a robust game lineup, says Sony, gamers will leave the console on store shelves and presumably, without strong piracy protection, devs and publishers wouldn’t be interested in coding games for the platform (maybe they would rather choose iOS or Android instead?).

“That [piracy prevention] was front and center in the early specs of this machine,” claimed Sony exec Scott Rohde.

“We needed to have something that would combat piracy from day one, and that’s why the cards that you can purchase for the games are in their own proprietary format.”

And that is why the PS Vita supposedly uses a proprietary memory format. This is obviously a pretty nice  nice justification for Sony, because the decision has the rather unfortunate side effect of forcing gamers to purchase more expensive proprietary memory cards – even though they may already have cards in other formats. The new generation of memory cards will likely generate a nice little profit center for Sony, as gamers will need to have at least one since the Vita lacks any significant internal storage.

“It’s something that we felt was completely necessary to make sure that people could not pirate these games. I mean, it’s a custom security solution on each one of these cartridges. That is something that we are confident will protect us from piracy for the long term,” added Rohde.