Sony’s announcement of the new PlayStation Vita gaming console has been received with quite a lot of enthusiasm, however when it actually launched on the market, the sales were nowhere near what the company has predicted and what everyone was expecting. Right now, the console has made its way to the United States, and it’s still not selling very well, despite the various incentives that Sony decided to offer to the buyers.
The reason for the Vita’s lackluster success is the rise of gaming on smartphones – with a tremendous increase in hardware power and the launch of services like OnLive, it’s hard to convince people to get a separate device for gaming on the go when they can easily do it on their phone. An interesting comparison is the PlayStation Vita and Samsung’s Galaxy Note – the oversized Android smartphone that has already sold more than 1 million units. These two devices are similar in size and hardware specs, but which one would a gamer choose to carry around?
Obviously, the design of the Vita and Note is quite different, mostly because the former was intended as a gaming console and the latter is a universal smartphone/tablet hybrid that can be used for a wide variety of tasks. The Vita is slimmer and lighter than its predecessors, but still retains the usual controls, including two analog sticks and top buttons. The Galaxy Note looks like your run of the mill slab smartphone, only oversized – it’s got a slim profile and nothing worth noting except the big touch screen on the front.
Hardware features and performance
Despite their different purpose, the PlayStation Vita and Galaxy Note are actually very similar when it comes to internal hardware. Both devices have a Wifi, Bluetooth and cellular radios (the Note has 4G LTE support, though), GPS, accelerometer and touch screen, compass, video out capability and a 3.5 mm audio jack. There are also two cameras on each device, but the Galaxy Note wins out with its 8 megapixels main camera and 2 megapixels front facing snapper – they’re a lot better than the VGA-resolution cameras on the PS Vita.
The performance of both the PSV and the Note is also very similar. The Vita has a quad core processor, quad core graphics adapter and 768 MB of RAM (512 MB main + 128 MB video). That looks very impressive, however the Galaxy Note actually matches it spec for spec with a higher clocked 1.5 GHz dual core processor, quad core Mali 400 GPU and 1024 MB of RAM in dual channel mode (video memory is allocated from the main RAM).
In practice, this means that each device will run games just as well as the other, making the choice between them pretty hard, seeing as the quality of Android games is improving every single month and the latest games are just as good as the special PS titles.
If you’re looking for a good gaming device on the go and are comparing the Sony PlayStation Vita and Samsung Galaxy Note, it all comes down to the software. The Vita runs its own proprietary OS, which severely restricts its use, while the Note runs Android Gingerbread and is awaiting an Ice Cream Sandwich update. For now, the games for PlayStation are better when it comes to gameplay and graphics quality, but Android games are quickly catching up and will soon be on par with the dedicated console.
When you consider the fact that the Note is much more than a gaming console and can work as a phone, digital camera, Web browsing device, work tool (for taking notes, creating documents, outputting presentations and more) AND gaming console, the choice seems pretty easy to me. The availability of the OnLive app (which allows you to play desktop games on your Android device!) drives the last nail and makes the Galaxy Note or any other high end smartphone, for that matter, a better choice than the PSV.