At the beginning of the week, news made the rounds that Sony’s upcoming Vita would be limited to a single PSN account per system. Switching accounts, for what ever reason, would require players to restore the Vita to its factory settings.
As it turns out, that information is not entirely accurate. The Vita can support multiple PlayStation Network accounts. It is the system’s expensive, proprietary memory cards that are restricted to a single account apiece.
When the Vita development staff spoke out about the system’s memory cards last week, they pointed out that, far from merely providing a space for saved game files, the cards would actually be used as “storage” for the Vita. Today, we have a better idea of exactly what they meant.
Clarification on the Vita’s PSN account restrictions comes from Sony associate brand marketing manager Crystal MacKenzie, who spoke with Wired.
“Your PSN ID is bonded to your memory card and your memory card is bonded to your Vita. So if you wanted to change different PSN users but use the same memory card, you would need to go factory reset.”
That’s right. The solution to having multiple PSN accounts for a single Vita system is to buy more of its outrageously priced memory cards.
The news that PSN accounts will be tied to Vita’s memory cards rather than the Vita itself certainly sheds new light on the security concerns that Sony claims led them to develop a proprietary format in the first place. That said, what exactly is the purpose of this decision on Sony’s part, other than to sell more memory cards?
MacKenzie’s statement that the cards are “tied” to the system suggests that users won’t be able to simply pop a memory card into any Vita and access their PSN account. But if the accounts aren’t portable in that way, why tie them to the memory card instead of the system?
Vita’s Japanese launch is just days away. Between now and then, Sony’s reasons for restricting the cards to a single PSN account may be made clear. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine that the PSN breach earlier in the year had no impact on the decision. Still, Sony is struggling with the perception that it is vastly overcharging for those memory cards, and the suggestion that players may need to buy more than one of them is unlikely to go down well.
Let’s hear it, Ranters: does linking PSN accounts to Vita memory cards make sense, or is it just a way for Sony to sell more of its expensive, proprietary tech?
The PlayStation Vita launches December 17, 2011, in Japan and February 22, 2012, in North America and Europe.
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