Vita Designer Discusses Hardware, Originally Wanted Device Thinner and Screen Larger

January 19, 2012Written by Alex Osborn

There’s no denying the fact that the PlayStation Vita is one sleek piece of hardware. Sony’s talents in hardware development have resulted in some of gaming’s most attractive and reliable consoles. Believe it or not however, Sony’s design team was hoping to make the Vita an even more impressive looking device.

According to the head of the handheld’s aesthetics, Tokashi Sogabe, there were hopes of making the screen even larger and the device itself even thinner than the final product. In addition, Sogabe wanted to construct the Vita entirely out of metal, but that too was dismissed by the engineers over at Sony.

We felt it deserved to be bigger than the 4.3 inch screen on PSP. It’s almost as if we settled on five inches in order to really maximize the same impact that we felt when we first saw it. There was a great deal of discussion and we even talked about using a 5.5 inch screen, but that had a negative impact on the operability of the device.

There is always a battle between engineers and designers and I’m not just talking about PlayStation Vita when I say that. I was pushing through this idea of ‘thinner is better’ but I had to be reminded of things like the feature set, processing power, battery life… the overall package. I actually wanted PS Vita to be entirely made of metal but then it was pointed out that this was impossible due to the internal Wi/Fi, 3G and GPRS antennae.

While a larger screen would certainly be nice, that 5-inch OLED screen provides the perfect balance between portability and viewing real estate. While the inevitable Vita 2000 will likely be thinner, and have a better battery life, the screen size will probably stay the same.