We have been waiting for Sony to release 32GB memory sticks for over a year,so I thought I would try another method to get 32GB onto the PSP.
What I did was to buy 2 16GB Sandisk microSDHC cards and combine them in a dual slot memory stick pro duo adaptor to make up the eqivalent of a 32GB memory stick for use in my PSP 3000.
The microSDHC cards came with a regular SD adaptor and a thumbstick adaptor, both of which can be discarded. The microSDs plug into two slots on the adaptor, and come with a diagram showing which way they must be inserted.
One thing to note is that the adaptor is only the size of a memory stick, you are inserting cards inside it, and the plastic it's made of is very thin and somewhat fragile. I wouldn't recommend using the adaptor if you don't have a USB cable to transfer files to and from your PC. It's a little bit too delicate to be constantly plugged and unplugged from the PSP to a PC memory card adaptor slot.
Once the cards are safely in, the adaptor is ready to be plugged into the PSP's memory stick slot.
The next thing to do is to format the memory card combination in the PSP. You cannot format them individually, and are warned not to format them using your PC. You MUST format using the PSP.
Once formatted, I ended up with 29.6GB of free space on my PSP, the only difference between this and a regular memory stick was that it said Magic Gate Unknown, which is what you'd expect.
So does it work, and are there any problems?
I connected my PSP to my PC with a USB cable, plugged the old memory stick into a slot on the PC and copied everything across to the new one. (Might as well think of it as just one memory stick now, since that is what it appears as). There were no problems copying the almost 16GB of data across, and all my files showed up on the PSP right where they should be.
Then I did some tests to see if there were any bugs.
Music and Videos
All the music files from my old 16GB play fine, with no lag or skipping. They are all mp3s so I haven't been able to test whether other music formats work the same, but I have no reason to think that they wouldn't. You may have a problem if your music library consists of ATRAC files, since I believe they need a Magic Gate supported memory stick in order to work, but since I don't have any ATRACs I couldn't test this.
MP4 videos and AVC videos that I have converted myself (usually with PSPvideo9) also play with no problems.
PS Store compatibility
I copied over all the games and movies that I had previously downloaded from the PS Store (plus the licenses), and everything seems to run fine. I've also downloaded from the PS Store onto the new cards, both directly to the PSP and using my PC and Media Manager, and those operations run smoothly too.The movies play just like they should, and the games run fine with no loading problems and no problems with gamesaves, so the fact that the cards are not Magic Gate compatible seems to make no difference to the Store or anything downloaded from it. Downloaded demos and trailers also work as they should.
My UMD games run fine, and the gamesaves load up fine. Saving the game when finished also showed no problems.
How Fast are the cards?
The micro SDHC cards I bought have a rated speed of 16Mbps and the adaptor is claimed to operate at 10MBps and up, preserving the transfer speeds of the cards. If two different types of micro SDHC cards are used, the slower card sets the speed rate.
(Sony Mark 2 memory sticks are rated at 32Mbps and Sony High Speed memory sticks are rated at 15Mbps).
In the PSP, the combination I used was plenty fast enough for everything that the PSP does. I have been asked whether the cards were fast enough to handle taking videos with the PSP camera, and I pleased to report that yes they are. The camera worked fine in all modes.
Since Sony have not yet released a 32GB memory stick, and when they do they are likely to cost $300 or even more, this seems like a timely and economic solution for PSP owners who need a lot of storage space. The cards operate just like a single 32GB memory stick would, and the lack of Magic Gate support doesn't appear to affect anything.
The 16GB microSDHC cards I bought cost $60 each, and the adaptor was another $11, so even with shipping this is half the price that I expect real 32GB memory sticks to cost when they finally appear.
You can of course use smaller capacity micro SDHC cards and save more money. The adaptor can be used with just one card, so you could use that now while you save for a second card, (although you would have to do a complete re-format when you added the second card. You cannot format them one at a time).
There are no compatibility issues that I have found so far. The only problem I can see in the future is the fact that the PSP probably cannot handle anything larger than 32GB, so this is as far as we can go.
You can get the cards and adaptor from Amazon.
Here is the link to the microSDHC cards.
And here's the link to the adaptor.
There are, of course smaller micro SD cards that fit into the adaptor, for those who don't need quite so much space.
Here is a link to a thread by my good friend Yigytugd which lists all the microSD cards available complete with prices and where to get them.
Great review! Some actual speed tests would be great but I can understand the absense of those.
I am willing to bet that in the future Sony will shize even more and make it so that you absolutely must use MS Pro Duos.
To kinda go along with the poster above me question, If you have 15.5 gigs left on one card, and loaded a game or movie on to the memory card, would it split the movie and fill the remaining half gig and then fill the other, or would it by pass it, and go to the unused card?
Quick question. If you were to copy a song to your PSP would you have to choose which Micro SD card to copy it to or would the two of them be considered all one big memory stick?
It's all one big memory stick as far as the PSP is concerned. You would never know that it is two cards.
Amazing review BoW! Your the one person that I would trust with any and all PSP knowledge. I would kudo you if I could.
You can. You only have to be a junior member now to kudo, press the redand white star are to kudo.
Wow these forums have changed. Thats great! Kudoed BoW!