How to Buy Memory Cards for Other Video Games and Consoles

Like if this guide is helpful
How to Buy Affordable Card Readers and Memory Cards for Other Video Games and Consoles

Home video game systems became quite popular in 1983 with the release of the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Between then and now, memory was a constant problem for both developers and players. The earliest systems, such as Nintendo, Super Nintendo, and Sega used the game cartridges to store memory. Later systems, including the Gamecube, Playstation 2, and Xbox began using external memory cards that allowed players to save their data to an external memory unit. This group of games is commonly referred to as sixth-generation consoles, and the seventh generation consoles that succeeded them such as the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, and Playstation 3, used different memory card reader formats like flash drives and SD cards.

Modern card readers are found in stores, but consumers typically have to venture onto online sites such as eBay to find the appropriate memory cards for older home consoles. Buyers must match the type and size of the memory unit to their gaming console to make the best purchase.

Understanding Storage Sizes

Memory cards and card readers developed for consoles come in all different memory sizes, from 1 MB to 32 GB. In most cases, the size of the memory card depends on the console. When there are choices between different storage levels, the player needs to decide how much memory he or she is planning to use. Early game consoles used MB memory cards because they did not require the high memory usage of the later systems. If the system connects to the Internet, then the buyer needs a memory card that works in GB, not MB.

Nintendo Consoles

The early Nintendo systems like Nintendo and Super Nintendo used an early form of the external memory card by keeping game data and save points inside the gaming cartridge. However, as the home video console evolved, so too did the use of memory cards.


Nintendo's Gamecube took a page from the Xbox and Playstation brands and shifted into external memory cards. Gamers can choose from a 4 MB card all the way up to a 64 MB card. Furthermore, the Gamecube has two ports for memory cards which was mainly used for multiplayer compatibility. A gamer has the option to take their memory card from home and bring it to a friend's house to upload their gamer profile onto a new machine.


The Wii was released after the Gamecube, but this console features backwards compatibility. This means that Gamecube memory cards work for the Wii when the gamer is playing Gamecube games. However, like many other seventh generation consoles, the Wii has a very large internal storage drive that saves data directly onto the console. If more data is needed, the Wii is compatible with SD and SDHC memory cards. Users who have a camera that uses the same type of memory card can even insert it into the Wii to view pictures.

Nintendo DS and 3DS

The Nintendo DS and 3DS are portable video game consoles. Both feature a dual screen, with the 3DS using 3D technology. Like the Wii, both of these consoles can work with an SD or SDHC memory card. This allows players to store photos, music, and online videos onto their portable console.

Playstation Consoles

Sony Playstation released a series of home and portable consoles over the years. The earliest versions use proprietary memory cards, a feature that returned with the portable Playstation Vita. Some memory cards are also interchangeable between systems, allowing users to play games from an older generation console on a newer one.


The very first Playstation console came with its own proprietary Playstation memory card. By modern standards, this 1 MB card was exceedingly tiny, but it provided more than enough storage space for Playstation-era video games. The cards are mainly used to save game data.

Playstation 2

The second version of the Playstation is more powerful than the first, and likewise its Playstation memory card features additional storage. Some of these cards can be as large as 64 GB. Playstation memory cards work with the Playstation 2,, allowing users to play their old games on this new console. However, it does not work both ways. Playstation 2 games cannot be played on the Playstation, and Playstation 2 memory cards do not work on the Playstation either.

Playstation 3

Like the Nintendo Wii, the Playstation 3 saves most of its data directly to its hard drive. Users can choose models with up to 320 GB of internal storage. Sony broke away from its proprietary memory card system when it developed the Playstation 3 which means this console is compatible with USB drives

Playstation Vita

The Playstation Vita uses memory cards created especially for this portable system. These cards are almost as powerful as the Playstation 2 cards with the option to use up to 16 GBs. What is notable about the Playstation Vita is that it only works with its required memory cards. Third-party cards cause the console to malfunction.

Xbox Consoles

Microsoft came late into the gaming console business, but it more than made up for its tardiness with the Xbox console. Carrying a large and powerful gaming library, the Xbox quickly became one of the most popular gaming systems on the market. Its commitment to online interaction is what sets the system apart.


The original Xbox shared many of the same stats with the Playstation 2. One main difference when it came to memory cards is that the Xbox cards are slightly smaller at only 8 MB than the Playstation 2 cards. These cards work fine for saving the data that come with the games of its time, but they are very small today. Furthermore, serious gamers usually have to buy two or three memory cards just to keep up with all their games. Fortunately, the system comes with several memory card ports.

Xbox 360

The Xbox 360 is the second, powered-up version of the Xbox. It competes directly against the Playstation 3, and many serious gamers get in arguments about which console is better. The Xbox 360 offers several different internal hard drive options from 4 GB to 320 GB. The larger the internal hard drive, the greater the cost of the console. Therefore, many gamers buy one in the middle range and then settle for using a Xbox USB drive that holds 16 GB. Xbox 360 memory cards only hold 512 MB which does not last long when one considers the deep memory usage of the games for the console.

The newest version of the Xbox console is the Xbox One, which is considered one of the top of the line consoles in the gaming world. 

Buying the Right Video Game Console

It is very important that the consumer purchases the correct product for his or her console. Some memory cards, such as Playstation cards, work on the Playstation 2 for Playstation games. However, this is by far the exception since most memory cards are not compatible across different systems. Purchasing the wrong product results in the consumer wasting both time and money.


Memory Unit


Backwards Compatibility

Playstation 1

Playstation 1 memory card

1 MB, 4 MB


Playstation 2

Playstation 2 memory card

8 MB, 16 MB, 32 MB, 64 MB

Playstation 1


Xbox memory card

8 MB


Xbox 360

Xbox 360 memory card

Xbox flash drive

514 MB

16 GB



Gamecube memory card

1 MB, 2 MB, 4 MB, 8 MB, 16 MB, 32 MB, 64 GB



SD memory card

4 GB


This chart provides an easy way to keep track of what gaming console uses which memory card. As long as consumers buy the memory devices that work for their console, they cannot go wrong in their purchase.


Video game consoles are steadily increasing with popularity and many gamers love to play their older systems to this day. However, for many home video game consoles to work a memory card is needed. This device allows the user to save their data while playing the game, and most of today's games simply do not work without one.

When buying a video game memory card the buyer must first find the product that matches his or her console. Memory cards only work with certain consoles, especially the older models. Newer models, such as the Nintendo Wii, are slightly more flexible and allow users to save data onto a SD card. The second consideration is to buy the memory card according to the amount of storage the consumer needs. eBay offers video game memory cards in many different sizes, making it a breeze for any consumer to get the product they want within minutes.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides