Niko Silvester is a former freelance contributor for and a video game junkie who draws her own comics when she's not playing games on her PSP.

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The PS Vita can do a lot of different things: play games, display photos, and play videos and music. To maximize its versatility, it supports a variety of compatible media and file formats.


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Removable Media

Sony is a fan of proprietary formats for removable storage media on its devices, and the PS Vita is no exception. It takes not one, but two different Vita-only card types.

PS Vita Memory Card

Where the PlayStation Portable used the Sony Memory Stick Duo and Pro Duo formats for storage, the PS Vita uses the PS Vita Memory Card. Memory sticks like those used in the PSP donot work with the PS Vita, nor do other common formats like SD cards or the memory stick micro used in the PSPgo. Also, memory cards are linked to a user"s PlayStation Network account and can only be used in PS Vita systems that are also linked to that account.

PS Vita Game Card

Rather than the PSP UMD game media, which isnotplayable on a PS Vita, PS Vita games come on PS Vita game cards. These devices are cartridges rather than optical discs. Some games store save data and downloaded add-on content right onto their game cards, while other titles require a memory card for saved data. For titles that use the game card, saved data cannot be copied or backed up externally.

SIM card

PS Vita units with cellular connectivity require a SIM card from a service provider to use the service—the same kind of SIM card used in cellphones.

File Typens

While the PS Vita is primarily a gaming handheld console, it's also a full-featured multimedia device capable of displaying images and playing music and video files. It supports the most common file types, but it can't play everything. It doesn't support Apple's default sound file type, for example.

It"s nice to see TIFF support on the PS Vita. Not all portable devices have it, which often means converting higher-quality images into lower-quality JPEG files to view them. TIFFs are usually larger files thancompressed formats, so better quality comes at the expense of storing fewer images. Otherwise, all the major formats are here, so you should be able to look at just about any still image.

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If you download a lot of music from the Apple Store to iTunes on your Mac in AAC format, you won"t be able to listen to that music on your PS Vita, but if you use a Mac, you won"t be able to use the PS Vita Content Manager Assistant software, either. This is a bit of an odd omission since AACs are playable on the PSP. There"s also no support for AIFF files, but since that"s primarily a format for burning to CD and not for portable listening, that"s not as big a deal. Other than those two, the most popular sound formats are supported.