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How Much Does It Cost Sony To Build The Vita?

Posted on January 20, 2012 AT 01:38pm

THE BUZZ: Technology analyst organization USB TechInsights has done a full teardown of the PlayStation Vita—and, via that, determined what they believe it costs Sony to produce the hardware.

EGM’s TAKE: After providing the full breakdown of the different pieces that go into making the Vita, UMB TechInsights VP of business intelligence Jeffrey Brown spoke to Eurogamer about the actual price of each of those components for the 3G model.

Here’s how that list went:

  • 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


Meaning, in the end, the final bill for putting together a 3G Vita according to UMB is $159.10 (£102.90). (For comparison, Eurogamer notes the estimation for the build cost of the 3DS at launch was around $101.)

Of course, the cost of the parts alone doesn’t tell us exactly how much Sony is making on each unit. Other factors come into play, such as how much each system is being sold to retailers for. While knowing that exact number can sometimes be tricky, Eurogamer goes on to report that one UK retail source told them the cost of units for them is as follows:

WiFi Model: £229.99 retail price / £179.00 price to retailer
WiFi + 3G Model: £279.99 retail price / £218.00 price to retailer

So, if the price for manufacturing for Sony were £102.90 on the 3G model, and they sell that model to retailers for £218.00, that would be £116 or so going directly to Sony. (That would be roughly $180 under current currency conversions—but due to the different pricing levels for the Vita here in the States, that figure wouldn’t directly translate over to what Sony would be making per-unit in terms of dollars.)

That money isn’t pure profit, as Sony obviously has things such as R&D costs to pay back, marketing costs, packaging costs, shipping costs, as well as other expenses related to the development and continuation of the Vita brand. If these numbers are correct, however, what it does tell us is that Sony may indeed have some flexibility in lowering the price of the Vita—should they find themselves in a position where they need to do so—without having to do so in a way that would lose them money for each unit sold.

How do you feel about the pricing for the PlayStation Vita, especially now that the 3DS is cheaper? Is the Vita still worth the price that Sony is asking for it? Or will you not consider one until that price has been reduced by some amount? (And if so, what price would you pick up a Vita at?)

Source: Eurogamer

Eric L. Patterson, Executive Editor
Eric L. Patterson got started via self-publishing game-related fanzines in junior high, and now has one goal in life: making sure EGM has as much coverage of niche Japanese games as can realistically be crammed in. Eric’s also active in the gaming community on a personal level, being an outspoken voice on topics such as equality in gaming and consumer rights. Stalk Eric on Twitter: @Eric_EGM. Meet the rest of the crew.

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