When Sony unveiled the official PSP predecessor, the PS Vita, we became fairly excited to see the next iteration of mobile gaming. The Vita was every bit the portable powerhouse that we longed for (especially after the less than stellar original PSP and it’s tinier more useless counterpart the PSP Go) and included the unicorn of portable gaming: dual thumb nubs (honestly this isn’t that big of a deal to me).
With only a few months left before it is unleashed to the masses comes what could very well be a deal-breaker for the frugal gamer like myself: Those memory cards a F$*%KING EXPENSIVE!
Look it’s no surprise that gaming is a pretty expensive hobby. Doesn’t matter if you’re into gaming on your phone or into the latest and greatest hardware coming from the big three – Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft; chances are you will at one point or another consider what’s more important: food or games. So after you’ve spent the last pay period or month surviving on Ramen noodles the last thing you need is consider that a necessary peripheral – like say a memory card – is going to cost half of what you’ve already put down on that new system of yours.
Which brings me to my question, is Sony trying to kill the PS Vita before it even launches?
Honestly, I know how it works; you make a hot item that is inseparable from some of the peripheral hardware (i.e. game systems and their controllers) and tie it to a proprietary distribution eco-system (really, take your pick) but this goes a little bit too far for what amounts to an SD card with nearly a 210% price mark up. It seems as if Sony is either tone-deaf and has completely lost touch with their consumers or if they’re trying to recoup losses by shilling overpriced memory cards. Either way, this will make the Vita a tough sell when there isn’t a holiday to guilt you into buying things.
Although retailers are quite pleased with their initial projections of consumers buying more this holiday season than in the past couple of years, unless Target, Walmart, and Toys R Us plan on somehow extending Christmas into March, you can’t expect people to drop $420 (system + 32GB memory card) – $460 (system + 32GB memory card + one game) with your seeming lack of interest in portable game development (I may just be bitter about that paper weight at home called a PSP).
If history must repeat itself, at least let it be third-party manufacturers’ entry into the PS Vita peripheral market; if a company like SanDisk can offer a suitable alternative at half the price, it may help this broke gamer get off his soapbox.