Nintendo 3DS vs Sony PlayStation Vita Handheld comparison

Here is a comparison between the recently released Sony PlayStation Vita and the newest entrant into the handheld gaming scenario the Nintendo 3DS.

With Nintendo 3DS making an entry into the gaming circuit the race for supremacy between it and Sony PlayStation Vita has reached a pinnacle. The two are undoubtedly front runners in the portable gaming scenario. Each is a competitor to the other and the race for the top spot is really heating up! It's time for a face-off; let's see which of the two stands out as the real winner.

Sony PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS are similar in many ways – they are designed using bleeding edge technology so there is a little risk involved there, as time alone will tell whether they stand up against the acid test. That aside, as gaming consoles the two are powerful machines that can satisfy the expectation of the most rigid enthusiasts. These are swanky machines, with ample publisher support that will ensure a string of new games at your disposal. That's not all; you also get non gaming online network access and connectivity.

Nip and tuck

While both the machines have a reputation to back them there is no better way of telling which of the two is better than doing a feature by feature analytic comparison. So here goes!

How much juice do they have

This probably is the finest test as you do want to know the potential, strength and application capabilities before you decide which is the more superior machine.

The internal specifications of the two units are one of the first things that you need to check out. The 3DS is definitely more advanced than its predecessor the DS. It has an array of appealing software. But more importantly you need to know it is powered by 1GHz dual core ARM 11 CPU.

The Vita on the other hand has a powerful Cortex A9 CPU. Interestingly the iPhone 4 too is powered by the Cortex A9. On terms of processing power alone, the scales tip towards the Vita. The fact that its processing power can be upgraded to 2 GHz is another feature that amplifies its specifications.

The Nintendo is backed by a 128MB RAM, while the Sony Vita is supported with a higher RAM of 512MB. While both support Wi-Fi, the Vita offers Bluetooth connectivity and supports 3G as well.

Coming to the 3D building blocks, the polygons; the most crucial element required in most games. For an exhilarating experience, the average 3D games can launch 15.3 million building blocks across the screen per second. This translates into a magical experience for the players. Now imagine a machine that can shoot 10X that number! If you want your gaming experience to be multiplied 10 fold, then the Sony PlayStation Vita is what you should put your money into. With a power of hurling 133million polygons/sec, the Vita adds to the thrill.

Based on the above analysis the Vita is a cut above the 3DS. However, this alone cannot be the deciding factor for choosing an outright winner. We need to look at the software as well to draw a conclusion. Nintendo has been in the market for a very long time and has always captured the market with its incredible software. Will it do so yet again?

User friendly systems

Let's discuss the ergonomics next, an important element as you will agree. When it comes to playing, the Nintendo 3DS interface cannot be labeled as being intuitive. Is this too strong a verdict? Well, not exactly if you consider using the stylus along with the joypad and direction slider with two hands, simultaneously. Not an easy task,atleast not for most people looking to enjoy a game. It needs new skills and mastering of a difficult art. Inclusion of a prehensile tail would have been thoughtful.

Is the Sony Vita easy to use? Most certainly! With the Vita you get twin joysticks a common feature on most consoles. It also gives you a touch pad and push buttons. You'll agree these are more easy to use than what Nintendo offers.

The Vita's controls are far superior in design and function, more practical and user friendly. The easy to operate controls and the snug fit of the unit in your hand will ensure long durations of comfortable play without any discomfort. The 3DS in contrast is shaped like a clam shell and does not offer similar ease while handling it. You can get used to the shape over time though. You will also find the 3D effect on the Nintendo works well only if the unit is held in a consistent position. Shake it about too much and you are at a risk of losing the 3D effect.

The best display

The display in the Vita is what makes it desirable. Just envisage the experience of having a 5" screen to play on. The 960x544 resolution and 220 DPI is the Vita's biggest advantage over the 320x240 and 800x240 resolutions that the Nintendo has to offer. The Nintendo has a 3D display but its resolution fizzles out and dampens the otherwise impressive impact of two pronged 3D display.

True pocket gadgets

Which of the two are really portable? There is nothing to debate about here, for the simple answer is neither. Though the Nintendo is the smaller of the two, you still cannot carry it in your average pant pockets. We are not discussing cargos here, but then not many move around in cargos these days. You'll need a bag if you want to take along either the Sony PlayStation Vita or the Nintendo 3DS. A good thing about the Nintendo worth mentioning is that it shuts like a book, so there are no fears of the screen getting scratch marks.

Battery Life

There is a marginal difference between the battery lives of the two machines. Even then the battery in the Vita has a slight edge over the battery in the Nintendo. The battery lasts for 5 hour in the Vita while in the Nintendo if the games are 3D the battery drains out faster. The battery in the Nintendo lasts between 3-5hours.

Software comparison

The 3DS appears to be at an advantage by virtue of being around longer than the Vita. This doesn't deter Vita's launch as it is destined to win over many heart with a selection of PSP games and some incredible software. Games such as Uncharted, Wipeout 2048 and Stardust Delta are winners all the way.

The list of games Nintendo offers is incredible as well. Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart, Street Fighter IV and Zelda are a few of the great 3D games you can enjoy on Nintendo. One thing is assured that Nintendo will exploit the 3D market and aggressively develop more game software compatible for the 3DS. Sony conversely will remain dependent on other developers. Once again this cannot tether Sony's popularity or brand presence as developers will be queued to have a piece of the pie! Sony already has some excellent stuff and Nintendo always has new tricks up its sleeve. On this platform the two appear evenly matched. The popularity will depend on the games people like to play. Currently, the magical, surreal effect of Nintendo games looks ready to enthrall.


Which one will make a bigger hole in your wallet? Well! The 3DS is definitely cheaper of the two machines by a substantial amount. The 3DS is currently priced at a competitive $169.99 whilst the cheapest version (Wi-Fi) of the Sony Vita can be yours for $249.99. If you pick the 3 G/Wi-Fi versions you will have to shell close to $300. The price difference mentioned here is applicable across the globe, with the Vita retailing at a much higher price than the 3DS.

Insiders reveal that Sony will not be cutting its price; not in the near future at least. There are strong rumors that Sony is marketing the Vita at less than its cost price. Another cut in price will not be profitable to the company. How much are you willing to pay for a machine is entirely your prerogative, but the adage that you "get what you pay for" may hold so true in this case. The Sony Vita is undeniably more powerful than the 3DS in more aspects than one.

The final call: Which is better - Nintendo 3DS or Sony PlayStation Vita?

It's time for the ultimate verdict.

Let's talk about the Nintendo first. The USP of the Nintendo is its famed 3D. Without that it probably would not make much of an impression. There is no denying that the 3D is an impressive feature and there are enough gaming buffs who swear by the awesomeness of the heightened visual effects; but then there are others who reportedly find the same feature disconcerting as it causes visual discomfort and headache. Some would argue that the 3D effect can be turned off or its intensity adjusted if gamers have a problem with it. All that is well, but in doing so the effect of its USP is lost.

That is not all, of all the existing 3DS games only a few actually exploit the 3D feature completely. Most use it as more of an embellishment. A number of games appear better when the 3D feature is not used. The Nintendo needs to develop games that make complete use of the 3D feature to enhance gaming experience.

The USP of the Vita is the touch sensitive control pad located behind the unit. The interface element lacks proper implementation and it could be used more productively in the games.

Even then the Sony PlayStation Vita is way superior based on its sheer power and performance. This alone would make it the better of the two machines. The enhanced processing capability of the PlayStation is advanced, adding to finer detailing, visual effects and frame rate.

The Nintendo and the PlayStation have exceptional third party support as far as a choice of games is concerned. Developers are vying to capture the market by developing unique games. Even then Nintendo has a slight edge as it offers a choice of games that gamers want to play

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer publishing with Constant Content and sister sites of Techulator. She writes on a variety of subjects that interest her. She is a voracious reader and that helps her keep abreast with the latest in technology. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Eng. Lit, is a mom, a wife, a homemaker and a qualified teacher.

Follow Juana or read 101 articles authored by Juana

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Author: avinash pandey17 Nov 2012 Member Level: Silver   Points : 6

The article has explored all the aspects regarding the comparison between two of the best hand held devices that are currently available in the market.I think one more factor that can tilt the tide in favor of Play station vita is the fact that it has got a successful predecessor which was highly reliable and proved to be one hell of an entertainment package.As vita is generally developed with the same psp in mind and adding some advance feature such as touch screen and greater visual appearance hence people can definitely say that this device can become as handy as was the previous PSP.Having a good name in the market for a product always helps the successor of those products
in getting success and the most convincing example of this is iphone

Author: Juana06 Dec 2012 Member Level: Gold   Points : 3

Thank you for stopping by. Well! I've tried to incorporate everything in the article for that is what makes a good review. Glad you appreciate it. You are right in saying the Sony PlayStation has an edge over the Nintendo. Not only is it a name to reckon with, it is also a better product in more ways than one. My vote goes to the Sony PlayStation Vita.

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