Technology experts disassembled Sony's handheld and totaled up what each part was worth.
Despite not selling very well in its native country of Japan, the PlayStation Vita is an impressive piece of hardware. The large touchscreen with dual analog sticks set it above its main competition - the Nintendo 3DS - and the Vita's graphics hardware is top of the line, A number one stuff. When it was announced at E3 last year that the Vita would retail for $250, most people thought that price was fair whereas Nintendo's 3DS pricetag had to be reduced by a third within months to cure lagging sales and consumer backlash. Now that the Vita is poised to enter the worldwide market on February 20th and the model is filtering out to outlets for review, experts can take a closer look at the device to see if it is really worth the price. According to TechInsights, the hardware components of the Vita are estimated to cost $159.10, in contrast to the 3DS component costs of $101 at launch. So it looks like the suggested retail price of the Vita is entirely justified.
Here is a general breakdown of what each element costs in the Vita:
- Display and touchscreens: $50
- Battery: $3.60
- Cameras: $3.50
- Wi-Fi/BT/GPS: $3.50
- NAND: $6.00
- SDRAM: $9.25
- Processor: $16.00
- BB+XCR: $16.25
- Non-electronic: $11.00
- Other: $30.00
- Supporting materials: $10.00
We have yet to see how the Vita will be received in the West, but it might end up as another black eye for the company. Like Sony's Betamax videotape format, a superior product that lost to VHS, the Vita seems appreciable better than Nintendo's handhelds in every way - processing power, screen resolution, and launch lineup of more than 25 games.
It's even being priced aggressively with only a $90 production profit margin (250 - 160 = 90) that doesn't take into account marketing or development costs. In fact, Sony is still likely losing money on each Vita sold.
Despite all that, the tiny handheld just might be what breaks Sony's back and forces the venerable Japanese company out of the gaming hardware market.