PS Vita Hacked To Accept Micro SD Instead Of Costly Memory Cards

Sony loves to have control of their own media formats: Beta, DAT, Minidisc, MemoryStick, Universal Media Disc, MemoryStick Micro, and more. When they released the PS Vita they used a format that was similar in shape to SD but not compatible. The higher capacity ones can be quite costly, However [thesixthaxis] Report there is a PS Vista Micro SD hack on the way.

PS Vita hacker [Yifan Lu]’s adapter replaces the 3G modem, allowing end users to plug a MicroSD card in its place.  And this means using standard MicroSD memory cards instead of Sony’s overpriced proprietary memory. This is the coolest PS Vita hack since  PS Vita’s Final Fantasy X.

Sounds like good news all round? Well, there are a few small caveats. In order to use the hack you need a 3G-capable Vita running HENkaku which means running firmware 3.60 or under. The adapter is still in prototype stage, but it’s available from the fully-funded Indiegogo campaign if you’re interested.

23 thoughts on “PS Vita Hacked To Accept Micro SD Instead Of Costly Memory Cards

  1. Nice hack! I’m fully in favor of anything like this. I clearly remember just how pissed off I was when I discovered that my new Olympus digital camera would only work in panarama mode if there was a genuine (outrageously expensive) Olympus smart media card installed. Olympus is now PERMANENTLY on my S-list because of that. Don’t know (or care) if they are still in business.

    1. Sony loves to abuse the power of media formats. If it’s hardly used they will make it insanely expensive, If it catches on mainstream they still make bank as manufacturers have to pay licence fee’s etc. As a business model it really is great but not so great for brand loyalty.
      Sony try and put a horse in every media format war and have won a few and failed a few. My hope is that we have more open source/hardware media format consortium, Back ed by the public and if they needed cash etc they could run fundraisers.

      1. “Sony try and put a horse in every media format war and have won a few and failed a few.”

        I’m struggling to come up with an example, without Google’s help, where Sony-backed format actually won a format war. The only one I can think of is “Walkman”, which doesn’t really count, IMHO, because it plays standard cassette tapes. Any other?

          1. Blu-Ray doesn’t count:

            “The “Blu-ray Disc founder group” was started on May 20, 2002 by MIT and nine leading electronic companies: Sony, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Thomson, LG Electronics, Hitachi, Sharp, and Samsung Electronics.[2]”

            Basically only Toshiba supported HD-DVD. They were the “Sony” in this story.

            Sony has had _no_ long-term successes with its media format strategy.

          2. @Elliot Williams – Certainly not so much in the consumer realm, although they *DID* develop the 3.5″ Floppy Disk. However, in professional use, DAT for audio and XDCAM (replacing the wildly successful Betacam, which in turn replaced the previous de facto UMATIC standard) to become the modern “house standard” in most live TV stations.

          3. Which is a format that was gone and beaten before even becoming popular. I mean, I’d say over 90% of videos are now streamed. So again, Sony formats fail.

    2. I was in the same boat, but Olympus redeemed themselves quite a bit with MFT being as open of a format as the ILC industry has seen since M42 or LTM. I’ve ended up adopting MFT,. While I usually stick with Panasonic or third-party (Panasonic primes, for my money, beat Olympus like a rented mule) I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have some Oly gear in my bag. Sony will always be on my list as they STILL don’t get it. Apple too, as long as they have a proprietary connector on their phones – switch to USB C? Maybe we can talk. Maybe.

      1. Once a company makes the list it’s permanent. Only weapon I have is my voice as a consumer. I don’t add names often, but when I do I stick to it. Will never buy another Olympus product.

        1. Stick to your guns, man. It *is* your only voice. Believe me, once I’ve been slighted…

          Olympus never burned me personally, I was only mildly peeved about their proprietary cards back in the day as that was just one more camera brand I wouldn’t buy – but those were the memory-card-war days – there were the Sony Duo’s, SD, CF, Smartmedia, Olympus, just to name a few.

          Out of curiosity, what camera was it that ruined you? I was only aware that Olympus had their proprietary cards that were shaped differently and you couldn’t just jam any old memory card into them – it had to be their card or no card at all.

          1. C-4000. “Camedia” The one with the “lenscap of death”. (If you don’t remove lenscap BEFORE turning camera on it trashes zoom gears.) Just 4MP but takes pics as well as modern cheapo 12MP because has real glass lenses. Still don’t use it often because it EATS 4 AA batteries in about an hour. Mostly use my 12MP Chinese special. (Its only problem is seriously noisy audio on any videos.)

  2. Ain’t most 3G cards (Incl. embedded) ran via either USB and?or SDIO(MMC-Fallback) these days anyway?

    Unless there are magic ASIC and?or other cryptic, or magic, voodoo, sumfin-sumfin-dark-side then otherwise as follows:

    The card can use any -nix supported SD card reader, Plenty about, can easily be implemented into an: M.3?mPCIe?PCIe?etc

    Well, duh… Just connect up the relevent lines and hope the combo of the hacked up driver and the card works (Esp since some SD cards only run in MMC mode).

    That will mean we could make our own for this… and as for the non-3G types… Sure enough, looking for where the signal(s) leave the SoC and/or controller. A wire-nest modded one could also have SD-card support hacked into it.

    P.S. I saw this news on sites like wololo (dot) net, eurasia (dot) nu, etc…. a few or couple ++days ago.
    The picture with the breakout VIAs (or non-populated pins) suggest SDIO….

    ++can’t remember, 1x internet year >= 2 or so human days :D

    having problems posting at the moment….

  3. …”since I can’t vouch for the quality of the manufacturer (I chose the cheapest one), there is a risk that you will receive a non-working or partially working board. In that case, I won’t have any extras to exchange with.”

    Sign me up for this shit-show!

  4. I can’t recall the number of times where I’ve looked at a game that otherwise would have been an impulse purchase and had that impulse purchase torpedoed by the act of trying to figure out what I could delete to fit the new game. Ultimately leading to me just not buying it at all. So I can say with first hand experience that Sony’s memory cards lost them sales.

    The only reason I got a Vita over a 3DS was that the 3DS was region locked and even tho I seldom if ever import…. I prefer the option be there. I also always kinda held out hope that Sony would realize how stupid their memory card scheme was and find a way to at the very least reduce the price to fall in line with MicroSD cards.

    That said at this point I’m probably just ditching my Vita for a Switch anyhow :/
    Still sorta cool tho I guess.

    1. I’ve had the exact same experience. I bought a Vita and it was great… until the massively overpriced 4GB memory card was full, in next to no time. On the other side of the coin I put a large capacity SD card in my 3DS and buy games for it quite frequently.

  5. The ‘more’ they like to control is of course your personal computer after they hacked it.
    Don’t forget who you are dealing with, ‘the Japanese Lenovo’ if you will :/

    1. Yeah, I can’t believe they got away pretty much scott free with their rootkit fiasco. Having one company that is in both entertainment (Sony Pictures) as well as technology (Sony itself) is a combination that brings a chill to your soul. They have been using their position in both camps to trample consumers rights.

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