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How much does the PlayStation Vita cost to make? 
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Geoffrey Tim
January 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm

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The PlayStation Vita will launch in the West on February 22 this year. We’re excited. We’re a little less excited about its price, which will cost $250 (R2699 in South Africa) for the Wi Fi version, and $299 (R3299)for the 3G-enabled one. That’s…a lot of beans. The technical intelligence experts at UBM TechInsights decided to take the thing apart and see what all its constituent pieces were actually worth.

Normally, new hardware is sold at a considerable loss – subsidised by the platform holder so they can make more money on software. It seems that’s not the case with the PlayStation Vita.

According to UBM’s VP of business intelligence, Jeffrey Brown (via Eurogamer), the insides of the 3G-enabled version of the PlayStation Vita come in  in at an estimated $159.10, broken down as follows.

  • 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

That’s a fair deal less than the $299 selling price – but don’t feel short-changed. That cost doesn’t include the R&D, software development, shipping or marketing and advertising – so it’s unlikely Sony’s making huge profits off the thing, if any at all. In all likelihood, they’re still making a loss – just not as big as the loss they incurred with the Playstation3 in its early days.

What it does mean though is that there’s some elbow room when it comes to reducing the thing’s price, should it have to come to that. For reference, the raw materials of the 3DS when it launched was just a shade over $100.

I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.