It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that the Vita is not performing well in the marketplace. The prevailing public opinion seems to be that “there aren’t any games for it,” and that “it is too expensive.” Are these claims true? The purpose of this article is to examine the Vita, and to determine its strengths (and weaknesses) and how Sony could shore up sales of the Vita.

System specifications:

The Vita runs a quad core, ARM-Cortex A9 CPU (one of the four cores is set aside for system use, leaving three cores free). This is a 32 bit processor designed for high end mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc), and is comparable to, but quite a bit more powerful than, the ARM11 CPU in the 3DS (if you follow these sorts of things, the original Tegra chipset uses an ARM11). It is also less powerful than the ARM-Cortex A15 which is in the Tegra 4 (which was just announced in January of this year). As far as CPU power goes, it can safely be stated that the Vita outpowers any device currently on the market (unless I’ve missed a Tegra 4 release), and there should be no bottlenecks in the area of the CPU.

GPU wise, the Vita uses a quad-core SGX543MP4+. This is a modified version of the PowerVR GPU that powers that iPad 3, which runs at 7.2 GFLOPS—equal to the Tegra 3, and outpacing the Pica 200 that powers the 3DS (sadly, I could not obtain solid numbers for this as Nintendo does not release tech specs for their systems anymore). There are mobile GPUs that outperform the Vita (like the Adreno 225 and the Tegra 4), but not many. Some have compared the Vita to a “portable PS3,” but the performance of the Vita is nowhere close to the PS3: the GPU in the PS3 outputs 176 GFLOPS.

Sorry little Vita, I love ya, but you’re not in the same class as your big brother.

Other neat features of the Vita include a capacitive back panel and front touch screen, dual analog sticks (yay!), Sixaxis motion controls, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, wifi (b/g/n), front and rear cameras, a 960×544 OLED screen (which is beautiful), and 3G (on certain models). The Vita also sports 512 MB of RAM and 128 MB of vRAM, which is more than adequate for such a small screen/ low resolution.

When taken as a whole, the Vita is an impressive piece of hardware, even a year after its release. These technical specs are actually a drawback for the system in some regards, but this will be discussed later.

The difference between OLED and LCD is huge. Go to your local game retailer and pick up a Vita for a test run if you don’t believe me.


There are not many games out for the Vita. There, I’ve said it. It is demonstrably true; there is no point in arguing the matter. The assertion that there are no “good” games on the Vita, however, is demonstrably false. Some AAA releases are:
•Persona 4 Golden
•LittleBigPlanet Vita
•Rayman Origins
•Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
•Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath
•Uncharted: Golden Abyss

Apologies if I did not list your favorite game here. The point is, there are plenty of great games on the Vita, and more are coming. Anyone who tells you that the Vita “has no good games” is either a fanboy, uninformed, or willfully ignorant.

Show this to anyone who says that the Vita has no good games.


The Vita is a great system, and it has some terrific games, but it isn’t perfect. The biggest problem with the system is the cost. The system alone is $250 ($300 for the 3G version). In addition, the system is barely functional without a memory card. Sony, in their wisdom, decided that memory cards would be proprietary and expensive—you’re looking at spending at least $30 for a small, 8 GB memory card. Don’t forget that you’ll want a case to protect the screen, too—this is not a clamshell design! Digital distribution is neat, but the discount for digital games is negligible at best. The whole set up, from the initial purchase to the accessories to the games, feels like it is designed to bleed you dry, and that isn’t a good way to build a consumer base.