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Sony Playstation Vita vs Sony Ericsson Xperia Play: A Flawed Comparison?

Sony, it seems, has saved the best for the Playstation Vita rather than the Xperia Play which it launched, together with Sony Ericsson, earlier this year at MWC in Barcelona.

On paper, the Vita absolutely trounces the Xperia Play and one can only imagine how an Xperia Play handset with the guts of the Playstation Vita might have performed.

When it comes down to hardware, the Vita could easily qualify as the "baddest" smartphone on the block. It has a quad core ARM Cortex A9 SoC compared to a single core A8-based one for the Xperia Play.

There's also that huge 5-inch OLED screen with a 960x544 pixel resolution, bigger and better than the Play's 4-inch screen with 854x480 pixels. Graphicswise, the Vita is miles ahead of the Xperia play with the Quad core PowerVR SGX543MP4+ pitched against the ageing Adreno 205 GPU.

The rest of the Vita's spec list almost matches that of the Play with the notable exception of the microSD card; Wi-Fi, front and rear cameras, Bluetooth are all there and the icing on the cake has to be the "super oval" shape that is the signature of the original Playstation Portable and many may prefer to the design of the Xperia Play.

The comparison is made even more imbalanced by the fact that the preorder price of the Vita 3G has been set at £280, a figure that is bound to fall after launch while the price of the Xperia Play is still hovering around £430, a 50 per cent premium.

The main difference between the two lies in the software platform; the Play uses Google's Android Gingerbread 2.3 with the Playstation Suite allowing it to play Playstation games, while the Vita comes with a proprietary OS.

Still, one has to wonder how the Playstation Vita 3G can cost a third less than the Xperia Play and yet carry so much more firepower. Let's hope that the successor of the Xperia Play will feature the same specs as the Vita.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.