PlayStation Vita is still region-free when it comes to physical copies of games, but there’s a catch involved if you want to do anything that requires the use of multiple PlayStation Network accounts, Sony have confirmed to Wired.com.
As per usual, in order to use the PlayStation Store, you’ll need to associate your Vita with your existing PlayStation Network account or create a new one for the device. The catch is that you can only use one account per Vita system.
While the PlayStation 3 and PSP let you sign into different PlayStation Network accounts — which import gamers often do in order to access online stores from different regions — and the PSP lets you log in and out of different accounts, the Vita system ties itself to a single account, once you get it up on the system.
If you want to sign into a different PlayStation Network account to access a PlayStation Store from another region, Sony say you’ll have to reset the hardware to factory settings, which involves deleting your personal settings and the saved data stored on the Vita itself.
“[The] PSN account is tied to the hardware and the memory card, not just the card,” a Sony representative confirmed to Wired, “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. In other words, PlayStation Vita is intended to be played by only one user.”