3DS games store your game progression and save files on the actual game cartridge; the PSV will do similar. It’s a neat feature, meaning you don’t have to have loads of files floating about your internal storage and there’d be no need to transfer your files in the event of you buying a new handheld.
Developers hate the second-hand game sales market because they don’t see a cent from that second selling of their game. When a game is purchased new from a retailer, the developers make money; when it gets traded-in at the store and subsequently resold, the only side that makes money is the retail store.
Interestingly, for Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, Capcom is utilising this save game storage method in an attempt to thwart second-hand sales of the game – or so it would seem. Inside the game’s manual is a note that reads: “Saved data on this software cannot be reset”. In other words, there is no way to erase your progress from the cartridge, meaning that whatever you do will transfer to the second owner should you flog the game.
So what’s the big deal; a second owner could surely just hit the “New Game” option in the main menu? Yes they could, but any unlockables would already be unlocked, and for many gamers, a large part of a game’s worth and replay value is found in how much longer you spend with the title in order to unlock everything.
Sneaky, Capcom… clever as hell, but very sneaky.