It's a major rip off. All that Vita is, is a mobile ps3 with identical graphics. And they got the nerve to sell it at that high of price. Not to mention to FORCE you to pay extra for a damn memory card for it... which should already go with it.
Sony Justifies Vita Memory Card Pricing with Mantra of Security
Sony's virtually synonymous with needlessly expensive proprietary memory, and this time it's justifying the cost by claiming that the PlayStation Vita's new memory format is more secure - that is, more secure for Sony. Sony Division 2 software development boss Muneki Shimada told AV Watch that the company required a format with "guaranteed performance," since read / write speeds vary among third-party cards, and also that Sony needed to "ensure the security" of the platform.
In this case, security measures include forcing users to go through an intermediary program to manage stored data instead of allowing the Vita's memory card to be used as a mass storage device with PCs.
While we've seen other platforms get bitten by inconsistent card performance - most notably with Windows Phone 7's microSD debacle - neither of Sony's concerns make the final price tag easier to swallow, and it's clear that it simply wants to create a new locked-down memory format that can't be used as easily for piracy. Shimada also says that the company has no interest in packaging memory "freebies" with the device as smartphone manufacturers often do - which makes sense, considering there's nothing "free" about Sony's memory