The PlayStation Vita’s launch is just around the corner and eager gamers and techies are awaiting its release. No doubt, a lot of you have been following the Vita since its initial reveal last year as the “NGP.” You may know every single game coming out, release dates, and even the tech specs of the device itself. Then there are those of you who are still not too sure about the Vita and all that it entails. Well, fear not! GamerXChange is here to guide you through the launch of the PlayStation Vita. In this guide series we will list launch window games, the different models of Vitas you can get, accessories, features, prices, and all that good stuff.
This third edition of the PS Vita launch guide will give you all the info you need to know about the accessories that you will need and others that will help you expand your experience at launch. (GamerXChange uses Amazon.com* links for easy access accessory purchases in this list. We acknowledge that these products are available at a wide range of retail stores and sites where prices may vary).
Memory cards are an extremely important accessory for the Vita. Unfortunately, there is no internal storage for the Vita. What does this mean? Well, just about every Vita game requires some sort of storage, in turn, this means you will need a memory card to go with it. In addition, if you would like to take advantage of the digital copies of games, store music, photos, or other items on your Vita, a memory card is a must! Some of the PlayStation Vita models come with a memory card at launch (Launch Bundle and First Edition Bundle), however if you are getting a WiFi only edition of a Vita, or would like to increase your storage from the memory cards you get in the bundles, here are all of the options that you will have at launch. (Note: All memory cards will be available by February 15, 2012. Some retail stores are selling theirs earlier – check with your local stores for details and availability. Storage Calculations based on 1.75GB – 3.5GB average for full PS Vita games, 1.3GB average for movies, 3.5MB average for songs, and 5MB average for photos.)
Other important notes: At this time, these official Sony PlayStation memory cards are the only ones available for the system. There are no third-party alternatives (yet that may change sometime in the future as in the case of the PSP). Make sure you have a memory card inserted BEFORE playing any games as this may cause you trouble later on if you do not. While a mandatory memory card may feel like an inconvenience, there is some good news for those of you who already have a PlayStation 3 with some room on the HDD. A recent firmware update to the PlayStation 3 allowed for content from the Vita to be stored on the PS3 such as game save data. In addition, the Vita can utilize the remote play function so you can access select games, pictures, videos, and music straight from your PS3 over wireless internet signals. This may help alleviate some of the memory usage on the Vita. Still, while that may help a little bit, a memory card is absolutely required in order to play games, download apps, and to use most of the other basic functions of the system.
System Power Supply
One of the concerns that many had when looking at the Vita battery life. While there are varying reports at the length of usage you can get out of one charge, at the very least, you will have quite a few options to keep it juiced up. There are several power supply accessories that you can purchase separately in addition to the included USB cable and AC adapter. All of the power supply options are as follows (Note: Except for the Portable Charger, Power supply options noted below will be available by February 15, 2012. Some retail stores are selling theirs earlier – check with your local stores for details and availability):
It should be important to note, while the Vita comes with a USB cable and AC adaptor if you are buying any of these accessories mentioned above, they all require a USB cable which is NOT included in the items when sold separately.
Cases and Protection
After investing in a device like this, costing anywhere from $250 and up, chances are you will want to take good care of it and protect it from any damage. Fortunately you have some options. There are several cases for the system itself, screen protectors, and even cases for the game cards. (Note: Most cases and protective accessories noted below will be available by February 15, 2012. Some retail stores are selling theirs earlier – check with your local stores for details and availability):
Unlike some of the other accessories, there are also a lot of alternative/third party options for cases, shells, screen protectors, and so on. The aforementioned are all official Sony products. If you would like to explore more of the third-party accessories, please follow the links below.
With a built in microphone and speakers, the Vita is already prepared for your basic audio needs. However, for those of you wanting to take it a step further, there are some great options available for you. You can use just about any standard (3.5mm) headphones/ear buds for audio out of the Vita (like the PSP). If you have speakers that connect, go for it! In addition, remember, the Vita also has Bluetooth wireless built into it. With the Bluetooth, you can connect any standard Bluetooth headset (or the official PlayStation Bluetooth headset for that matter) and use it for both audio out and voice chat. However, for those of you wanting to stick with the total brand package, Sony has made an official (wired) PlayStation Vita in-ear headset.
Those are your basic options when it comes to the PlayStation Vita accessories. PlayStation has also made a pretty convenient starter kit bundle that you can buy which includes a 4 GB memory card, case, screen protectors, and headphones. Keep your eye out also for the plethora of third-party accessories and kits. These many times offer a more cost-efficient alternative.
More Places to Buy Accessories:
This is not the full list of retail stores offering the Vita accessories. Check with your local retailers for availability.
As we get closer to the release, if there are any updates that need to be made, I’ll be sure to add them here. Questions, comments, or just want to express your excitement over the Vita? Sound off in the comments below!
*Please see our disclosures