PlayStation Vita gets dissected, is unusually easy to disassemble

By on February 16, 2012, 4:30 PM

In their usual fashion, the folks over at iFixit have greeted Sony's new portable console with a scalpel, revealing some interesting tidbits about the device. Among the more surprising details is the simplicity in which the PlayStation Vita can be opened. Most handheld electronics are unintuitive to disassemble due to some combination of being intricately designed and manufacturers wanting to discourage end user tinkering.

The PS Vita can be disassembled with nothing more than a common #00 Phillips screwdriver and a thin prying tool. Along with using an industry standard bit size, Sony color-coded the different screw lengths: pink ones secure the motherboard while blue ones attach other parts to the motherboard. The system also uses little adhesive and has a simple modular design, so you shouldn't have any trouble replacing busted parts.

Removing the Vita's display requires more effort. To separate the fused front plastic frame and the OLED screen, iFixit had to bake the parts for 10 minutes at 200F. This is more intimidating than other steps in the guide, but to be fair, if your screen already requires replacing, you don't have to worry about busting it further. Besides, iFixit notes that baking electronics is easier than baking bread as the ingredients are premixed.

The teardown also offers a complete list of specifications. The Vita is powered by a custom quad-core Cortex A9 SoC, 512MB of RAM, 128MB of VRAM for the quad-core SGX543MP4+ graphics chip, a 5-inch OLED 960x544 touchscreen with 24-bit color, a rear capacitive touchpad as well as two 0.3-megapixel VGA cameras. There's also a Wolfson Micro WM18303E audio codec and sensors by STMicroelectronics and Kionix.

The wireless card carries all sorts of chips, including the Qualcomm MDM6200 HSPA+ supporting speeds up to 14.4Mb/s (that data rate is available Japan, while US Vita owners are limited to AT&T's 3G HSPA 7.2Mb/s network according to PCWorld). These specs are in line with those previously reported by UBM TechInsights, which performed a teardown late last month and priced the Vita's bill of materials at roughly $159.10:

  • 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

User Comments: 16

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PinothyJ said:

I do not have a problem with the profit margin of the Vita as it would be nice for Sony to actually make some money for once - it can only mean good things for the consumer...


Roughly $159.10 and how much does it cost again? lol

yRaz yRaz said:

pinothyj said:

I do not have a problem with the profit margin of the Vita as it would be nice for Sony to actually make some money for once - it can only mean good things for the consumer...

I avoid Sony like the plague, they are a horrible company and I hate their business practices. I know many feel the same way. I'd love to see them go under if I wouldn't have to put up with everyone saying xbox is better. Sony has never done "good things for the consumer," don't expect them to start now.

Guest said:

Wow.....Ok...Let me start off by explaining that video games are a business, companies need to make money. The 3DS costs $99 to make and even after the price drop they're still selling it for $169.

Also, the PS Vita may cost $160 to make, but SONY spent millions on R&D, then shipping and retailer profit, hardly leaves anything to SONY..I, unlike most of you, can't wait to get my hands on the VITA.

Puiu Puiu said:

NTAPRO said:

Roughly $159.10 and how much does it cost again? lol

and how much are they paying for marketing (50 mil in the US?), distribution, workers and development? as far as i know they are i consider 250-300$ a good price point for it at launch (it will go down eventually), but it's still very hard to compete with angry birds on smartphones.

what's really bad about it is the lackluster library and the 100$ memory cards. ouch

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I don't have actual inside information, but I believe Nintendo DS and Sony Vita have per title license costs associated that will increase the profits earned on these handheld systems. It leads me to believe that these devices could be sold at a loss while easily recovering the cost through software sales. (Speculating there in that last bit.)

While I know that we don't like Sony, the evil empire that they are, but I found it quite refreshing to see any device which could be torn down so easily. Especially after looking at repair instructions from some Apple products. (Don't replace a hard drive in an eMac, it's a piss poor design!)

Guest said:

They should have stuck in a transceiver while they were at it and made it dual-boot Android to operate as a phone.

Guest said:

is the battery replaceable ?

Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

The battery is held in with a few screws. It seems easy to replace, assuming you can find a spare unit on eBay or something.

veLa veLa said:

I've always liked Sony. Good cameras and TVs and stuff.

Guest said:

Congratulation Sony. An Intuitive faithful company in innovation and consumer satisfaction.

Guest said:

Good job.....

Guest said:

Excellent. This is what i waited for..... TX.

Guest said:

Vita.... is M$ crasher with all fan-boys.

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

yea i don't plan on taking mine apart... but good to know!

lol @ people still bashing the price. nobody is forcing you to buy one... are they?

Guest said:

they culd do much beter for lees money i was count is 95 dolars but sony want macke money on they patents licke touch panel from back is so scheete psvita already ar desaster for sony they made 14 milion psvita and counting to sold them to end of the year byt 7 months after relase they sold only 2 milions

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