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

Discouraging Playstation Vita Details 275

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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  • Gouging (Score:5, Informative)

    by AragornSonOfArathorn ( 454526 ) on Monday December 05, 2011 @05:19PM (#38271886)

    If anyone is surprised by this, they don't know Sony.

  • Apple must use them (Score:5, Informative)

    by Warwick Allison ( 209388 ) on Monday December 05, 2011 @05:24PM (#38271966) Homepage

    Apple does exactly the same thing with iPad and iPhone prices, but doesnt let you swap the mysteriously expensive memory "cards". Clearly it's all about the value to the consumer, not the cost of manufacture.

  • Re:First (Score:5, Informative)

    by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Monday December 05, 2011 @05:28PM (#38272016) Homepage Journal

    This also isn't news. When they announced the device months ago they said it would use proprietary memory, and people reported that memory would be really expensive.

    The device itself is selling at $250, which really isn't a bad price for the hardware if you look at it. I suspect they're selling the device for a loss and trying to make their money back with the storage.

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 05, 2011 @05:28PM (#38272018)

    The above mentioned proprietary memory card is for saving, patches, game data as well as DLC. As far as I'm aware they have not mentioned that said memory card would be used for actual games on the system. If we compare this to the Nintendo 3DS we find that Nintendo uses a regular SD/SDHC card for saves, downloadable content and similar while the retail games themselves comes on a completely different medium.

  • Re:Good thing (Score:4, Informative)

    by gameboyhippo ( 827141 ) on Monday December 05, 2011 @06:10PM (#38272702) Journal

    Nintendo isn't quite as evil as you think. They're just unprepared. My daughter dropped her out of warranty DSi into the toilet. I called them up and asked them how to transfer the save data to a new 3DS (That I had in the closet waiting for Christmas). They couldn't do anything, so they repaired the DSi for free. Outside of warranty. The problem is that people are afraid to ask and see what they can get.

  • Re:Don't Like it... (Score:5, Informative)

    by _xeno_ ( 155264 ) on Monday December 05, 2011 @06:24PM (#38272882) Homepage Journal

    You know, I really hate this type of comment.

    "If you don't like it, don't bother complaining, just don't buy it."

    Yeah, that will work. I have a better idea: let the company know why you're not buying it, and let other people know why you believe they shouldn't purchase it. That way the company has feedback on why people are refusing to buy their product, and the "invisible hand of the free market" is properly informed. Because don't forget, a proper free market involves informed customers, and people complaining about things they see as defects helps keep customers informed. (Which means that if someone is spreading lies about a product, sure, go ahead and debunk what they're saying.)

    Word of mouth is important. Telling people to shut up about things that they don't like is silly and counterproductive.

    Or, to invert your comment, if you don't care about high prices, don't bother complaining about people who do, just buy the expensive memory card. What do you care if other people don't?

  • Re:Good thing (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 05, 2011 @06:25PM (#38272898)

    What the hell difference does that make? Sony's consoles only actually played games off of licensed Sony discs unless you hacked them, just like every Nintendo (and Microsoft and Sega and everyone else's) system. Who cares if it's a CD or a proprietary disc if you can't burn one with your own software on it and run that? It's just as proprietary, it's just "CD with special license key on it" rather than "in-house ROM cartridge format".

    When you could actually use removable memory for arbitrary downloads and media and such, Nintendo went with SD, and Microsoft (eventually) went with USB mass storage, and Sony went with their proprietary bullshit.

  • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Monday December 05, 2011 @06:45PM (#38273176) Homepage

    Not at all. It's market segmentation 101. It's the same reason Intel's top-of-the-line chip costs twice as much as the next lower model but only performs a few single percentage points better. (And because of binning, each chip actually costs the same amount to produce.) Anyway, you create one market segment for people who can only afford to pay a lower price for your product, then you give a little extra value to people who can pay more so they can feel superior despite the fact that they just paid significantly more for what is essentially the same product. It's actually insulting to the buyer when you get down to it. Fortunately neither of the two groups who pay more are likely to complain. The first group doesn't want to violate the image, real or imagined, that they can afford to spend more, and the second group will usually rationalize their overspending by any means necessary to avoid admitting they made a bad decision. (These groups are not mutually exclusive).

  • Re:"Security" (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 05, 2011 @06:53PM (#38273294)

    SACD playback.

    The ability to play media across a LAN unfettered (legally-ripped Bluray movies that contain Cinavia will mute audio on purpose or even halt playback). Cinavia was not included in the earlier system software versions. It was forced upon us at a later date.


  • by LocalH ( 28506 ) on Monday December 05, 2011 @09:11PM (#38274924) 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.

    Betamax turned into [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betacam]Betacam[/url] and dominated the professional market in ways JVC only dreamed of.

    Not to invalidate your point about Sony and proprietary media. The PS2 Memory Cards are glaring examples, easily supporting higher capacities (when properly designed) but Sony only ever released 8MB cards officially (even still, a brand new one is something like $20 at retail?).

  • by LocalH ( 28506 ) on Monday December 05, 2011 @10:51PM (#38275716) Homepage

    The form factor is still in use today, see HDCAM and HDCAM SR [wikipedia.org]. Some HDCAM VTRs can playback Digital Betacam tapes, and VTRs for the other Betacam-based formats tend to be able to playback at least some of the older formats. HDCAM to this very day uses the exact same form factor as the original consumer Betamax format (albeit with more robust internals designed for the rougher treatment inherent in a day-to-day production environment). Good machines, too. I spent years working with the PVW-2800 and to this day can still perform an insert edit like I never stopped doing it.

  • Re:First (Score:5, Informative)

    by Guspaz ( 556486 ) on Monday December 05, 2011 @11:39PM (#38276024)

    Sort of. They weren't the first, they were one of a bunch of competing formats, and eventually the industry standards body agreed on a new format based on (but different from) Sony's offering. So they didn't invent them, but they can lay claim to having been a key player. But that wasn't really a Sony format war since their standard wasn't adopted as-is...

    In fact, except for BluRay, Sony has lost every format war they've ever fought. BetaMax/VHS (VHS crushed beta), NT casette/microcasette (nobody remembers NT casettes), MiniDisc/Flash (held on in Asia, but flash and HDD and CDs won), DAT/CD (DAT never made it beyond professional use), MMCD/SD (MMCD abandonned, SD became DVD), VCD/DVD (VCDs saw some use, but DVD came out two years later and started killing it), MemoryStick/MMC/SD/CF/Xd/etc (SD won, even some Sony products use SD rather than MS, CF only sees some professional use), ATRAC/MP3 (ATRAC never saw much adoption outside of MiniDisc), SACD/DVD-Audio (made irrelevant by digital distribution).

    So, Sony has had some success with BluRay (which is itself embroiled in a format war with digital distribution), and I guess you could argue that as the basis for the eventual 3.5" floppy they sort of won that one, but not the rest. Many of the format wars they've been involved in have involved Sony pushing a format that is more proprietary (or has less other companies backing it) versus a more open standard. MemoryStick is backed by Sony, while SD is backed by the SD Card Association co-founded by Matsushita (Panasonic), SanDisk, and Toshiba, with many other companies on the board.

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