Comparison: SONY PS VITA & NINTENDO 3DS
SONY PS VITA v/s NINTENDO 3DS
It’s astounding to think that just a few years ago, the Nintendo DS and the PSP were the lone mobile devices that gamers had to choose from. It must have been nice for Sony and Nintendo, to only have each other to compete with.
Then the iPhone came along. At launch, it was essentially a glorified iPod — but the 2008 arrival of the App Store changed that. Suddenly iOS was a legitimate gaming platform. The arrival of tablets and Android phones only further crowded the field. What we have today is a torrential downpour of mobile devices — all of which are gaming systems in their own rights.
So where does that leave the two old-timers? The dedicated gaming systems of Nintendo and Sony are desperately searching for ways to stay relevant. The two companies have gone in two different — yet unsurprising — directions, in trying to differentiate their products.
Let’s take a look at the choices that Sony and Nintendo have made with their latest systems; and how they stack up against each other.
The biggest thing to keep in mind here is that the 3DS is using a stereoscopic (glasses-free 3D) display on the top screen, so it essentially comes out to 400×240 resolution in each eye.
From that perspective, the Vita easily has the sharper display. It’s only presented in two dimensions, but 3D hasn’t become quite the sensation that companies like Nintendo hoped that it would be.
This is another category where smartphones have the upper-hand. The iPhone 4S and Galaxy Nexus have pixel densities of around 320-330ppi.
The Vita has much more processing power than the 3DS does. Its quad-core CPU is probably clocked between 800MHz and 1GHz, easily trumping the 3DS’ 268MHz dual-core chip.
This is another area where the 3DS is getting shown up. The Vita is, without question, going to give you much better graphics.
Here we see one of the biggest potential drawbacks of the Vita. Sony has priced digital downloads of its games cheaper than it priced its physical games, but you’ll have to pay Sony for the privilege of storing them.
The Vita has no internal storage, and its external storage is a proprietary Sony “PS Vita card,” which will be pricey: 4GB for $20, 8GB for $30, 16GB for $60, and 32GB for $100. Those are much more costly than comparable SD cards. Sony claims that it’s doing it for “security” (aka preventing piracy), but at what point does it become hostile towards customers?