Well that didn't take long.
Only a week after correcting media reports, Sony has "re-clarified" their previous statement, admitting that each PS Vita must be tied to a single PSN account. Users will be able to switch the account tied to the machine, but must reset the machine to factory settings to do so.
Reports began surfacing two weeks ago that the upcoming handheld would be restricted to a single user. That was the popular consensus until a representitive from Sony told Wired that it was the Vita's proprietary memory cards, and not the hardware itself, that would be locked to a user. The representitive specifically said that players would be able to switch accounts by switching memory cards.
Now Sony has notified Wired that they're retracted their previous statement, clarifying that both the memory card and the console are user-locked:
“[The] PSN account is tied to the hardware and the memory card, not just the card,” a different Sony representative said in an e-mail, “which means that if a second person is using your Vita, it’s not just a case of switching out memory cards, it’s clearing out all of your saved data on the Vita itself when you do the factory reset.”
The decision to put a high level of security on the Vita is a logical one, given the PSP's reputation as easy to pirate for, not to mention Sony's massive security breach earlier this year.
While it's unfortunate that the platform can't handle multiple users, let's hope this is the last we hear about the issue.
I guess we won't know for certain until the Vita is released in the US on February 22nd.