Battle of the Handhelds – PS Vita vs Nintendo Switch Lite

Since it was first launched, there have been comparisons made between the Nintendo Switch and the PS Vita. Despite there being a few years between the launch of both consoles many felt the Switch to be the Vita’s natural successor. While many remained with Sony’s handheld, others moved on. Some chose – as I did – to own both. But when faced head to head, which is the best overall?

I thought I’d take a light-hearted look at both, focusing on the handheld versions of each. So for Nintendo it’s just the Switch Lite and disregarding the PSTV for Sony. Understandably, the long-term position with the PS Vita has changed recently but for this article I’ll consider a range of factors scoring each platform out of five and total them all up at the end. It’s nothing too serious but hopefully an honest look as an owner of both…

Battery Life

Any handheld system is designed for gaming on the go as well as use at home. For that to be a key selling point the battery has to last. The Vita manages to deliver more than enough time to cover any lengthy journey or a couple of gaming sessions.In contrast I found that the Switch Lite – while an improvement over the original Switch – still needs charging after 3-4 hours of use. Neither are comparable to the battery life offered by phones and tablets, but sadly I don’t see the Switch travelling with me just yet…

PS Vita – 4
Switch – 3

Design / Controls

Throughout this feature I’m trying not to be biased or show preference to any one platform or the other. My computer/console collection will attest to the fact that I own an incredibly diverse mixture from most manufacturers including Sony and Nintendo. But when it comes to controllers, I’ve never really got to grips with Nintendo’s offerings. It’s been rare that I’ve found a Nintendo controller that’s been comfortable to hold or use for any length of time but the Switch is another matter altogether.

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

For a handheld it needs to be extremely ergonomic in its design. The shape of the PS Vita fits neatly in the hand, buttons feel accessible and in the “right places” and it doesn’t feel uncomfortable after prolonged play. In contrast, I found several issues with the Switch Lite. One of the more irritating for me was the position of the shoulder buttons, with them being too close together. I know it’s unavoidable with a handheld but I can see why Sony opted for just one each side with the Vita.

Secondly, the position of the headphone socket has left me bewildered. Placing this at the top of the console means that your cable needs to trail behind and under the Switch before it gets to you. With headphone leads being increasingly shorter these days it’s not the smartest design move from Nintendo. That extra distance round the back is a big deal with modern headphones!

The final thing is the design of the casing. It’s just too smooth! I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve dropped my Switch Lite just because it has slipped out of my hands! It actually reminds me of one of Samsung’s phones that had the same exterior surface and that was just as frustrating to hold too.

PS Vita – 5
Switch – 2


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About Simon Plumbe 1069 Articles
Husband, father and lifelong geek. Originally from the West Midlands, now spending my days in South Wales with my family and a house full of animals. Passionate about video games, especially retro gaming, the Commodore 64 and PlayStation Vita. Love pro wrestling, sci-fi and I'm an animal lover and vegetarian. Enjoyed this and my other articles? Why not buy me a coffee: