PlayStation Vita Games: Physical Vs. Digital Media
Is it better to download games through PSN or pick them up at retail?
One of the best things about owning an iPhone or iPad is being able to carry hundreds of games without lugging plastic cases and booklets. That's the benefit of having internal storage.
Sony appears to have taken a page from this book, sort of, with the decision to release not only retail copies of PlayStation Vita games, but also digital ones via PlayStation Network. Not only does this cut down on bulk in one's home, but he or she also receives a discount for downloading these titles, which appears to be ten percent.
At least it seemed this way at first, until we realized Vita has no built-in storage like the iPhone 4S, and requires a memory card to hold these games.
The prices for these cards have been well documented. For quick reference: 4GB ($19.99), 8GB ($29.99), 16GB ($59.99) and 32GB ($99.99).
We can debate whether the cost of each card makes sense. More importantly, how big are these games?
Uncharted clocks in at a whopping 2.8GB, so right away, the 4GB card is practically useless because the game chews up most of the space, forbidding you from downloading another Vita title or saving progress.
The 8GB offers necessary breathing room, but consider the sizes of Vita games. Dynasty Warriors Next? 1.5GB. Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational? 1.1GB. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3? 1.4GB, and the list goes on. Suddenly, eight isn't enough.
If you want to do it all...download Vita games, movies, music and even PSP titles, you'll need to give serious consideration to the 16GB and 32GB cards.
How small does ten percent seem now?
Not only that, but you miss out on having a physical copy of the game, case and manual. At least here, you can lend Wipeout to a friend or trade it at the store for credit. Digitally, you can't do the first without handing over the memory card, and the second is impossible, as you would trade the card, not the game.
We see the value in grabbing a 16GB card if we intend to buy PSP classics, but with Vita, it's best to just head to the store (or Amazon) and pick up the old plastic game box. Save the extra storage for something else.