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Data Storage Handhelds PlayStation (Games) Portables (Games) Sony Games

Discouraging Playstation Vita Details 275

Posted by Soulskill
from the blaming-the-media dept.
itwbennett writes "Sony's new handheld gaming system, the Playstation Vita, launches in Japan in two weeks, and the latest report from Andriasang has some interesting details, including Sony's decision to go with proprietary memory cards. Sony says this is both for security reasons and to ensure a consistent experience for all users, but that 'doesn't explain why they're charging such enormous sums for these cards,' says blogger Peter Smith. 'The caveat here is that we haven't seen official pricing for the cards, but game retailer Gamestop lists them at $120 (!!) for a 32 GB card, $70 for a 16GB, $45 for 8 GB and $30 for a 4 GB.'"
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Discouraging Playstation Vita Details

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  • At Least MS (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AdamJS (2466928) on Monday December 05, 2011 @05:30PM (#38272060)

    At least Microsoft will actually tell you that they're trying to rip you off. Sony pretends like they're doing you a favor.

  • by Synerg1y (2169962) on Monday December 05, 2011 @05:31PM (#38272090)

    Actually, the system is probably targeted at kids than a hardcore IT community like slashdot. Kids have a much easier time begging $100 out of their parents than we have justifying on a product we know is not worth it. The PSP was a dud in this sense, the IT community was able to hack it and trick it out, suddenly you had a 5 year old playing kingdom hearts on it and a 25 year old using a custom browser to access pandora, or bring it on a flight to watch movies. Don't believe me? Look no further than to Nintendo and their handhelds and how they didn't pick up with "big" kids.

    Oh well, PC gaming, even on a laptop is where it's at. I do like my pandora PSP though...

  • by spd_rcr (537511) on Monday December 05, 2011 @05:57PM (#38272520) Homepage

    This is hardly news. Sony has always gone the proprietary memory format and they have always been much more expensive than the generic equivalent. Is Sony even all that relevant anymore ? I could barely give away my PSP (slim) and don't get me started on the current PS3 with it's ridiculous looking motion controllers is utterly lame next to playing Kinect games on the Xbox.
    If the Vita also doubled as a decent phone, gps, and camera, I might take a look at it, but who really needs another web enabled device to lug around. My Windows Phone already ties in with my Xbox and has some entertaining away from the PC/Xbox games ... and it's a day away from getting even more integrated with my Xbox.
    http://www.engadget.com/2011/12/05/xbox-companion-app-for-wp7-will-launch-alongside-the-new-dashboa/ [engadget.com]

  • bad news (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bobtree (105901) on Monday December 05, 2011 @05:57PM (#38272530)

    This was on Kotaku yesterday: http://kotaku.com/5864910/digital-download-discount-for-vita-may-explain-sonys-memory-stick-plans [kotaku.com]

    The info is unconfirmed, but it says they're charging 40% less for downloads than games at retail and that's why the memory cards are more expensive. In other words, please pay up front so they can hold your money for you, and very probably the developers don't get a cut.

  • Re:Good thing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bonch (38532) on Monday December 05, 2011 @05:59PM (#38272552)

    Nintendo has a history of proprietary storage formats for every single one of its game systems, from the NES to the Wii. Sony has used CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray for the Playstation series.

    Hell, the Wii won't even let you plug an external flash drive into its USB port.

  • Re:"Security" (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 05, 2011 @06:17PM (#38272782)

    Playstation 2 slim dropped support for a hard drive making it incompatible with FFXI and had several backwards compatibility problems withe PS1 games that the original PS2 did not.

  • by Dogtanian (588974) on Monday December 05, 2011 @07:00PM (#38273404) Homepage

    They got away with it in the '80s and '90s because they actually made good hardware and the concept of interoperability barely existed.

    Not quite, remember Betamax? That was a fairly large case of interoperability- or at least support- being an issue, and Sony *not* getting away with it.

    The only time they've had any real success with it was Blu-Ray

    AFAIK, that isn't proprietary to the same extent, at least not in the sense that Sony almost unilaterally own and are pushing it. (Though I appreciate that they have one of the largest stakes in that business).

    Today the reverse is true - their products tend to be sub-par and we increasingly expect stuff to work across our devices, but they're still stuck in the past.

    Sony squandered what could have been a major lead in what became the MP3 audio market, and ended up being left behind.

    In theory, MiniDisc could have been something akin to a proto-MP3 player almost a decade before (worthwhile versions of) the latter became commonplace. Some sort of very basic filesystem- just enough to let music files be copied to and from the device- would probably have been doable without increasing the technological complexity of the MiniDisc that much. Given that most people didn't have computers with enough storage to benefit from that back then, perhaps that was an understandable omission.

    However, their tying it down beyond what people would have seen was technologically possible and desirable even then- i.e. forcing real-time dubbing, restricting what could be done digitally with copying, etc.- blatantly crippled the potential of the system for their own reasons, making it a slightly improved digital version of the standard cassette, but little more. The Japanese went for it, but its success was limited elsewhere.

    Then when MP3 came along, they dragged their feet for ages- maybe because they saw this as a paradigm-shift threat to their existing portable players, not realising that the *real* threat was that the market was going that way anyway, and that they could join it ASAP or lose their lead. Of course, they *did* lose their market-leading position, to Apple. "iPod" was the success story of the first decade of this millennium, not some next-generation solid-state "Walkman".

    Even after all this, they joined in in a half-baked cynical manner, trying to play things the old way while looking like they were embracing the new. Remember those stupid pseudo-MP3 players that required you to convert all your files to ATRAC via their crappy software before they'd support them? (No, I don't care whether that version of ATRAC was better than MP3 or not- by that point everyone had settled on MP3, Sony had *already* lost their opportunity to dictate what the market would use, and this move was just a mixture of NIH and arrogance).

    So, Sony lost the portable audio market through their own arrogance, short-termist self interest, NIHism and generally blinkered short-sightedness... and they really, *really* have no-one to blame but themselves.

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Monday December 05, 2011 @07:26PM (#38273818) Journal

    That's funny, i have several customers as well as a couple of family members that bought PSPs and all bought them for their kids and i can't think of a single one that would be "hacked'. Honestly despite all the talk here on geek sites i bet hacked devices don't even add to up 3% of ANY device out there besides the iPhone, simply because normal folks are too scared they are gonna break the thing and don't have the tech skills required.

    I doubt Sony fanboys will want to hear this but not a single customer has asked me squat about the new Sony and if they were thinking of buying i'd have heard of it, my former boss said i should have built a booth like Lucy on Peanuts and charged for it because i always end up answering everyone's tech questions, and those customers that I talk to often as well as the family have their PSPs sitting in the corner gathering dust. The high cost of memory sticks i have no doubt is partially to blame, but most ended up getting their kids a DS as well or a netbook/tablet/phone and now the PSP sits unloved.

    Personally I won't be buying it for my family because of the memory and because i think it'd end up sitting in a closet. The days of single function portable devices is coming to an end i believe, just look at how Nintendo has had to drop the price on their 3D handheld. Smartphones, tablets, netbooks, that is where portable gaming is gonna be i think. my nephew is a perfect example, here was a kid that ALWAYS had a gaming handheld in his pocket and i haven't seen him touch one in a couple of years now, not since he got a little AMD laptop. Now he and his buddies will meet somewhere on campus and do some TF2 or some other MMO while all the girls across the campus are taking a break in Second Life or WoW. These kids today all seem to do the whole MMO thing which AFAIK the handhelds just don't do.

    Man I didn't think of myself as old until my boys talked me into playing some TF2 and Bioshock II MP with them. I can kick ass in SP shooters, i really can, but in MMOs I spent all my time ragdolled on the floor, I couldn't get more than a shot or two off! i just don't get it, its like everyone else, even though they have the same weapons as me, just seem to be able to do much more damage. I just came to the conclusion i can't do the "chicken with its head cut off" gameplay style, too damned hectic for me.

  • by neokushan (932374) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @05:04AM (#38277522)

    Sony did produce a superior console[citation needed]

    Fixed that for you. I see this argument thrown around a lot, but aside from some figures on how fast the CELL is, nobody can really say for sure that either console is "superior".
    Sure, it has a few exclusives that look fantastic, nobody's going to try and say the console isn't powerful, but the multiplatform games released are either identical, or favour the 360 (sometimes only slightly, sometimes by large degrees), with the odd exception.
    Sales certainly haven't been "superior", figures released last week show that the 360 basically sold twice as many units as the PS3 in the US (of course, you'll have to take Patcher's word on that one). Half the reason the PS3 caught up is because the Japanese refuse to buy the Microsoft console, but most other markets favour the 360. In any case, if the PS3 was really "superior", it'd have caught up by now. That 12-18month lead isn't really an excuse any more, it has been 5 years and counting - if it was "superior", it'd have trounced the 360 by now.

    Now before you get defensive, I'm not actually saying the 360 is better, it's certainly not "superior". It has some features the PS3 doesn't have, like the ability to stream music while ingame (while most PS3 games can't even PLAY music while ingame, nevermind streaming it), but so does the PS3 - Blu-ray, Linux (oh wait, nevermind) and such. The point I'm trying to make is that I think this generation of consoles can easily be classed as a stalemate - a draw, as it were. And I'm fine with that, it means that for once you don't have to own both major consoles to get enough great games through the year (if you're a hardcore gamer, that is) and the best, or at least most popular titles, have all been multi-platform.

    Of course, the latter paragraph does fall apart if you mention the Wii, which is easily far more popular but a notably inferior console.

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