PSP Memory stick Qs & As v3 [Please check out if new to PSPs]

#1JonTripzPosted 4/29/2010 2:39:38 PMmessage detail
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Memory Sticks
(1) Do I need a memory stick? And what for, anyways?
(2) Which kind of memory stick do I need for my PSP?
(3) What brand memory stick should I buy?
(4) Where should I buy my flash memory from?
(5) Does speed really matter when buying a memory stick?
(6) How do I know if a memory stick is not the real deal?
(7) What are some differences between UMD based games and those on our memory sticks?



(1) 'Do I need a memory stick? And what for, anyways?'

A memory stick is necessary for the PSP X000 series. Without a memory stick you would not be able to save your progress in any given game, let alone store that game (digitally) to begin with. In other words, a memory stick is vital for the PSP X000 series for many, many things. Some of these possibilities include storing music, photos, movies, games & game saves. A lot of things which you probably want to be doing at one point or another. If you had a game on a UMD and no memory stick… you could play the game, of course, but it would be next to pointless since you can not save your progress at all with the absence of some kind of storage space.

Moving on - if you own a PSP Go, as you may know, there is already 16gb of internal storage space. So, obviously a memory stick is not necessary. But I still suggest getting one sooner than later. 16gb isn't really a lot if you're planning to store games digitally, which is the only option with a PSP Go. And when you factor in gigs of music, movies, and photos, 16gb of space is easily occupied. I own a Go myself and have an 8gb Sandisk memory stick on top of the 16gb of internal space. And since I have an iPod, I do not have a single song, movie or photo on my PSP. So that should give you an idea of how easy it is to eat up flash media storage with games alone. It's all a matter of personal preference and convenience. Would you rather have more of your game library with you and in your PSP? Or would it be no big deal to leave a good portion of the games you own stowed away on some hard drive for future use? It really is… up to you.

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#2JonTripz(Topic Creator)Posted 4/29/2010 2:41:03 PMmessage detail
(2) 'Which kind of memory stick do I need for my PSP?'

If you have a PSP X000 series, that is a PSP 1000 - 3000, you would need a memory stick 'Pro Duo.' A quick look through Google and you would quickly find out which memory stick this is and what it looks like. If you have a PSP Go, you would need a memory stick 'Micro.' Again, a quick search with the help of Google will instantly show you what this stick is and what it looks like. Now, there are adapters out there that would allow a memory stick Micro, for example, to be used in a PSP X000 series. Obviously the adapter looks like a memory stick Pro Duo and you insert the smaller Micro memory stick in to the adapter and the adapter into the PSP. I hear this is not ideal as transfer speeds could be affected or "Magic Gate" could possibly no longer be supported (more on this later)… it's probably another heated debate waiting to happen on these parts of the message board but the point is… you should try to avoid it.

The only way I'd see this being useful, is if you had both a PSP 3000, say, and a PSP Go and you wanted to try something from your PSP Go's memory stick in the PSP 3000. With the quick plug-in using an adapter, it could be feasible for the moment but more than likely, not a permanent solution. I mean… why would you own just one PSP and buy a memory stick that's not compatible, ya know? I feel these adapters are mainly useful when you have two PSPs and just want to temporarily use data from one card in a different PSP. Keep in mind you obviously can't use an adapter to get a memory stick other than the Micro memory stick in the PSP Go. If you've ever held one, the memory stick is extremely small, sits on your finger tip. So, to my knowledge, there is no memory stick that would fit in some kind of Micro memory stick adapter (which I've never seen).

(3) 'What brand memory stick should I buy?'

Different brands of memory sticks have some differences between each other. A lot of people could agree that Lexar is the bottom of the barrel being the slowest and usually cheapest memory stick per gigabyte. In second place, would be the Sony brand of memory sticks. These have moderate speeds but for some odd reason are more often than not, the most expensive memory sticks per gigabyte. A lot of people could agree that the first place winner easily goes to Sandisk. These memory sticks balance speed, size and price nicely. Not to mention, they are quality products. It wouldn't surprise me to see some other random name memory stick being offered for PSP use but do yourself a favor and stick with the well known three… Sandisk, Sony & Lexar (and in that order, in my opinion).

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#3JonTripz(Topic Creator)Posted 4/29/2010 2:41:43 PMmessage detail
(4) 'Where should I buy my flash memory from?'

Purchasing a memory stick for your PSP should be a painless process provided you know a few things. First and foremost, shopping online for a memory stick will almost always save you a few dollars. However, it is extremely important that you know that there are MANY fake memory sticks being offered on tons of different sites. Some things to avoid would be purchasing a memory stick through a '3rd party seller' off of Amazon.com (anyone selling it other than Amazon themselves). Another site to do the same exact thing for would be Buy.com - avoid any '3rd party sellers' and purchase directly from Buy.com themselves. One site to avoid altogether would be eBay. Obviously it's a site with a bunch of individuals selling things and you'll have no problem finding a fake memory stick through eBay. That's not to say sites like these offer nothing but fake sticks but why take the chance? On the flip side, there are quite a few trustworthy legit sites that you can purchase from confidently. Some sites that will be headache free include NewEgg.com, bhphotovideo.com, BestBuy.com, Frys.com, & Costco.com.

But what about purchasing a memory stick in a store, in person, and avoiding the whole online worry altogether? Honestly, if you go to the aforementioned trustworthy sites to purchase your PSP memory stick, you won't have an issue. I can assure you that. However, some people might be weary after reading about possible fake sticks and some of you just want to buy a memory stick in a store so that you can go home with one right then and there and avoid waiting for one in the mail - understandable. Just remind yourself that you will be paying a few extra dollars compared to a legit website purchase. But who knows, maybe it could balance itself out depending on the individual site's shipping and handling and such. Some stores which would be great to buy that new memory stick include Best Buy, Walmart, Frys, & even Costco. Basically… any trustworthy place that sells electronics and/or video game equipment. One thing I would do, though, is avoid purchasing a used memory stick at say, Gamestop. If you think about it, there could very well be quite a few fake memory sticks sitting in there displays. After all, someone who found out they got stuck with a fake might want to get rid of it at a place that accepts them used… like Gamestop. I would also avoid buying memory sticks (and a lot of other things) from Gamestop, altogether. They are a major rip off and you don't even have to shop online to beat their prices on memory sticks and some other common items, heh.

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#4JonTripz(Topic Creator)Posted 4/29/2010 2:42:37 PMmessage detail
(5) 'Does speed really matter when buying a memory stick?'

This is a hot debate on these boards. I will keep it short and to the point. A cheap memory stick, bottom of the barrel Lexar for example, would obviously be a bit slower than say a Sandisk Ultra II Duo. The most noticeable differences would be seen when transferring large/ numerous files between your computer and PSP. This is when the read/ write speeds largely come in to play. Now, this is not to say read/ write speeds don't mean anything when reading/ writing within the PSP itself (playing a digital game or saving in that game, for example). It's just that whether or not they are THAT noticeable or important to you, is pretty subjective. If you're the type of person who would be transferring tons of movies, music and even games between your PSP and computer…. then maybe a faster stick would ease your nerves.

But I'm not going to go as far and say that a standard Sony stick, for example, straight up "wont work." 'Cause that's simply not true. However, I would avoid Lexar altogether, in my opinion. I mean, if you get a great deal on one, why not? But I like my Sandisk memory sticks and any speed class, standard or Ultra IIs etc. gets the job done. It's more important that the memory stick itself is legit rather than some bootleg knockoff. 'Cause the fake memory sticks are the ones that "wont work" after some time, usually not long either. So as long as it's a legit memory stick, Sandisk, Sony or even Lexar, you will be able to do all the standard things on a PSP- saving, storing and using digital games, music, moves, photos etc.

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#5JonTripz(Topic Creator)Posted 4/29/2010 2:43:30 PMmessage detail
(6) 'How do I know if a memory stick is not the real deal?'

Ahh, an important question. So how can you tell if a memory stick is not genuine? Some obvious ways to tell just by looking at it would be the quality of the printing on the memory stick itself. Is it straight lined and not awkward looking? Are the contacts on the memory stick just like those on a sure-fire genuine card? Little things like these could be dead give-aways upon careful inspection. But this is, by no means, a positive way to I.D. a fake memory stick. There are sure to be plenty of fake memory sticks that look damn near identical to original products and shopping online would make it even harder to tell since you can't hold the card in your hand. Another quick option mentioned from time to time would be to press 'triangle' over your 'Memory Stick' icon displayed in the PSP. This could be found under several menus such as the Music and Game menu. Pressing 'triangle' over the 'Memory Stick' icon brings up some information. Displayed is the 'Capacity', 'Used space' and whether "Magic Gate" is Supported or Unsupported.

One give-away of a fake memory stick is the capacity being much, much, lower (or way too high for that matter) of the intended size. However, even original memory sticks are a few megabytes under the size advertised as that's just how it works with anything with a hard drive/ flash memory in it, now-a-days.* Another quick look is to see if "Magic Gate" is shown as "Supported." If it says "Unsupported" it could be a fake memory stick. This is, again, not a sure-fire way as I've read that there's fake memory sticks out there that even show "Magic Gate" as "Supported." And on the contrary, some have claimed that legit sticks could show as "Unsupported" though I've never experienced this and I can't say I necessarily believe it. In the end, there is one sure-fire way to tell if a memory stick is fake. The one thing that can't be mimicked is the read and write speeds. Does it transfer things to and from the computer ridiculously slow? Check the read/ write speeds for a legit version of whichever memory stick is in question (through a site like Bestbuy or what-have-you) and compare it to what you're experiencing by transferring a movie or some other large file. If it's obviously much slower than what the original version would transfer data at, then you can bet you got stuck with a good-for-nothing knock off :^(

*"Part of the natural discrepancy in size between what the packaging lists and what your computer says is because manufacturers measure out 1000 bytes in a kilobyte, 1000 kilobytes in a megabyte and 1000 megabytes in a gigabyte… While your computer reads it as 1024 bytes in a kilobyte, 1024 kilobytes in a megabyte, 1024 megabytes in a gigabyte

Basically, the size your computer reads should always be less than what the packaging lists by 5-10%. Any more than that and it's probably a fake card."
- SSj Chrono

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#6JonTripz(Topic Creator)Posted 4/29/2010 2:44:05 PMmessage detail
(7) 'What are some differences between UMD based games and those on our memory sticks?'

One difference, right off the bat, for you new PSP users to take note of is the fact that the same game downloaded from the PSN and stored on the memory stick almost always loads slightly quicker than the exact same game on UMD. In other words, a digital copy of any given game will more than likely be a bit quicker when it comes to loading times compared to it's UMD counterpart. This is the main thing to keep in mind when deciding between a digital purchase or hard copy purchase of a PSP game. Of course, there are many other differences some obvious and some not so. For example, a digital game is obviously yours and no one else's…. it's tied to the account purchased with [yours] and will not work on anyone else's PSP UNLESS they sign on with your account, in which case, none of their games through their account would work. So you obviously can't really lend a digital copy to a friend, say, unless you have no problem letting them temporarily use your account (which I don't recommend for more reasons than one).

Since these games are digital, you obviously can't trade 'em back in at Gamestop, for example, when you are bored and done with them. This is one big advantage UMDs have over digital downloads. Another major factor of a lot of UMDs is that any given title can almost always be found for cheaper on a hard copy rather than downloading them for full retail through the PSN, especially if you have no issue buying a UMD used. One nice thing about digital downloads is that you have unlimited downloads of any game you already paid for. So you could delete it off your memory stick to make space for something else, for example, and still be able to download it in the future, should you choose, without having to pay for it again. Of course, I would suggest simply copying the game on to your computer, along with the licensing file, so that you could just copy it back on to the PSP when you want to take it for a spin again. Either way, there are many negatives and positives to both hard copy versions of a game and it's digital counterpart. It all depends on you as to which you would prefer for a specific title.

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#7JonTripz(Topic Creator)Posted 4/29/2010 2:47:05 PMmessage detail
How to Request Topic Sticky -

Simply click 'message detail' under my username in the very first post. The next page that shows will have a "button" to click on at the very bottom - 'Request Topic Sticky.' All you have to do is provide a comment/ reason as to why the topic should be stickied and click on the 'Request Topic Sticky' "button."

Please request a sticky for this topic as it should help with anyone looking to learn about or purchase a new memory stick for whichever PSP they might have. I'm hoping it would alleviate the board from the memory stick topics that pop up, usually on a daily basis

~ Thank you ~
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#8JonTripz(Topic Creator)Posted 4/29/2010 7:17:30 PMmessage detail
bump

I'd really appreciate some attempts to sticky this :^/

I spent a little bit of time working this all out, what with it being version 3 and what not. And I do think it could help a lot with the people who always come around asking about memory sticks. We also mentioned, some time back, more of a general sticky about the PSP which would include memory sticks as well as quite a bunch of other stuff, I'd assume. But no one is really taking any initiative to put something together. I did this part. Maybe others could work on different parts each :^P
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#9dlfPosted 4/29/2010 7:28:05 PMmessage detail
I wouldn't know what questions/answers to put into a general sticky. All this could also be made into a FAQ and submitted,
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#10KorlithielPosted 4/29/2010 8:20:03 PMmessage detail
I had forgot that the hardware had a FAQ section, and after skimming the only hardware FAQ I can see so have others as it only notes hardware information for the first generation PSP.

Good to see some initiative taken around here, though I don't see this sort of FAQ's best purpose to be to remove discussion on memory sticks so much as introduce lurkers who dislike posting to better receive information on this topic.
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