You Could Build Your Own Vita for $160

You Could Build Your Own Vita for $160

The base model of the PlayStation Vita will cost consumers in the U.S. $249. Each individual component costs Sony $159.10, according to folks from UBM TechInsights who took the portable apart and assessed each piece. So, provided you had the technical know-how to program this all, you could theoretically build your own PlayStation Vita for nearly $100 less than the asking price for the wi-fi only model.

When Sony launched the PlayStation 3 in 2006, most estimates of what the system cost to produce landed at about $800 for the 20GB model, which was sold at $499. That means Sony took a loss of about $300 on every unit sold in hopes that software sales would make up the difference. Now the Vita is touted as a handheld with the power of a PS3. My how times have changed.

In case you were wondering just how much each individual component of the Vita costs to manufacture, we’ve got that for you:

  • Display and touchscreens: $50
  • Battery: $3.60
  • Cameras: $3.50
  • Wi-Fi/BT/GPS: $3.50
  • NAND: $6
  • SDRAM: $9.25
  • Processor: $16
  • BB+XCR: $16.25
  • Non-electronic: $11
  • Other: $30
  • Supporting materials: $10

So it looks like the system’s display and touchscreens are the biggest expense in producing the handheld. For a more jargon-y account of the breakdown, you can read the official report filed by UBM. What the report doesn’t take into account is how much marketing, promotion, manufacturing and labor into the equation, so while there are “non-electronic” and “other” categories in this breakdown, they could be anything. It doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what it’s costing to produce the thing.

For those of you who aren’t on friendly terms with Sony’s newest portable, remember that the company’s main competitor released its stereoscopic 3D system for $250 when it cost approximately $101 to produce. You can’t run a business if you don’t make money on the products you sell, folks.