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3DS vs. PlayStation Vita

Nintendo's 3DS and Sony's PlayStation Vita are the two biggest contenders when it comes to gaming on the go. Handheld consoles have evolved a long way from the original black-and-white Game Boy, and these portable systems prove it with console-quality graphics, controls and online features. These systems each offer unique, immersive game experiences, and also feature plenty of functionality for your lifestyle. You can browse the web, watch streaming media and communicate with friends in a portable package. Discover the unique advantages of each of these portable consoles to find out which one is the best for you.


PS Vita

3-D Display


Display Resolution

Top screen, 800 x 240 pixels; bottom screen, 320 × 240 pixels960 x 544 pixels

Battery Life

3-6.5 hours3-5 hours

Touch Screen

One touch screenOne touch screen, back touch panel

Analog Sticks


Memory Card

SD cardPS Vita memory card (proprietary)



*Refer to the Portable Console Buying Guide for more price information.


Advantages of 3DS

  • Glasses-free 3-D Display - The unique top screen of the 3DS displays in 3-D without the need for glasses, and a slider switch customizes the intensity, or turns it off altogether, so your eyes won't get tired.
  • Longer Battery Life - The 3DS has a slight edge in battery life, and it's easy to extend the battery a bit further while you're playing on the go by turning off 3-D or activating the power save mode.
  • Convenient SD Card Storage - Most 3DS owners will want to check out the exclusive digital games and content available on the Nintendo eShop. The 3DS comes with a small SD card for downloading this data, and this storage format is inexpensive so you can easily upgrade to a larger one over time.

Limitations of 3DS

  •  Lower Resolution Screen - The overall graphics capability of 3DS is somewhat lower than PS Vita, and the screen resolution is not as high-definition.
  • 3-D Isn't for Everyone - While using the 3-D mode is optional, some people may find 3-D viewing tiring on the eyes or difficult to see.
  • One Analog Stick - Unlike the PS Vita and most home console controllers, the 3DS only has one analog stick, so precision control of the camera in fast-paced games may be less intuitive.

Playstation Vita

Advantages of PS Vita

  • High-quality Screen - The PS Vita's high-resolution screen gives a near-HD experience in a portable format.
  • Enabled for PlayStation 4 (PS4) Remote Play - If you also own a PS4 home console, you can connect it with the PS Vita, letting you skip the TV and play PS4 games directly on the Vita's screen.
  • Two Analog Sticks - The Vita's control layout features two analog sticks, so you can replicate the precise controls found on home console games.

Limitations of Vita

  • No 3-D Display -The PS Vita is not capable of outputting graphics that can be viewed in 3-D
  • Expensive Storage Options - The Vita uses special memory cards that are only manufactured by Sony. Currently, the prices on these cards are considerably higher than SD and other common formats in the same storage sizes.
  • Shorter Battery Life - Depending on how technically intensive the game you're playing is, or your use of other features like Wi-Fi, the battery life for PS Vita can be noticeably shorter.