PlayStation Vita Teardown

We don’t break gadgets—we rip them apart with style. We tear them down, if you will. Today we put our spudgers up against Sony’s PlayStation Vita, the newest addition to their portable gaming platform family.

The Vita managed to freeze itself within five minutes of us trying it out, but we quickly forgot our malaise once we opened it. The device is an absolute gem to take apart due to standard screws, lots of connectors, and a modular design. Repair demerits are few (fused LCD to plastic, some glue here ‘n’ there), so the Vita managed a very respectful 8 out of 10 repairability score.

Opening the Playstation Vita
Cracking open the Vita

But what else did we find? Here are some of the teardown highlights:

  • Common Phillips #00 screws hold the most of the Vita together. All are easily accessible, though two are cleverly hidden under the accessory port cover.
  • The battery is secured to the back case with a pair of Phillips #00 screws and… well that’s it. There’s no adhesive, and absolutely no reason why users couldn’t replace the batteries themselves! The Vita’s battery runs at a standard 3.7 V and packs an impressive 2210 mAh punch.
  • The PS Vita is very modular. Check out all these connectors! With all these individual components, the Vita should be easy and inexpensive to repair.
  • Though the Vita is the first Sony handheld gaming device to boast two cameras, you shouldn’t cancel your Nikon D800 pre-order quite yet. The 640×480 pixel VGA cameras aren’t likely to wow the folks browsing your Flickr stream.
  • After a fair amount of disassembly, we find our old nemesis: adhesive! We easily win the battle against the evil glue with our trusty plastic opening tool and separate the rear multi-touch pad from its frame. We find an Atmel mXT224 touchscreen controller attached to the rear touchpad.
  • The speakers come out without much fuss thanks in part to their pressure contacts. These types of connections are common in devices where space is a concern and there’s no room for routing and soldering speaker wires.
  • If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Sony has used the same basic design for the R and L trigger buttons since the original PSP.
  • As we begin removing the screws for the motherboard, it slowly dawns on us… Colored screws! The pink-ish screws hold the motherboard in place while the blue screws hold attachments to the motherboard. This is one of the few devices in the history of our teardowns to contain colorful screws inside.
  • With the motherboard finally all by its lonesome, we began some chip identification:
  • Sony CXD5315GG quad-core processor
  • Samsung KLM4G1FE3A-F001 512 MB Mobile DDR2 SDRAM
  • Fujitsu MB44C026A
  • Marvell 88W878S-BKB2 Avastar WLAN/Bluetooth/FM Single-Chip SoC
  • Wolfson Micro WM1803E audio codec
  • STMicroelectronics 3GA51H gyroscope
  • Kionix KXTC9 three-axis MEMS accelerometer
Removing the frame on the Sony PlayStation Vita
Separating the frame from LCD/plastic
Sony PlayStation Vita teardown
Final layout