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PlayStation Vita Secrets (PSVita)




The purpose of this webpage is to provide information (a majority are secret or are hard to find) on the PlayStation Vita (or PSVita). The PSVita was Formerly code named NGP (Next Generation Portable). If you are interested in the original classic PlayStation Portable, visit PSP. It is updated as new information is uncovered in the public, so visit often if you wish to keep up to date on the latest secrets. Please link to this webpage rather than copy the contents. And do remember that the ads support this page so visit them if they interest you. If you wish to ask a question or provide input, feel free to leave a post at: PSVita Discussion Forum. Note that this page is part of a collection of secrets to various hardware. Feel free to read other technology "SECRETS" by visiting the menu at the top of this page.



Table of Contents

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Clicking on a link in the Table of Contents takes you to the selected topic, and while there, if you click on the topic title, it will take you back to this Table of Contents.





PSVita Model Differences


The following chart describes the basic differences between various PSVita model numbers. Included are the classic PSP for comparison purposes.



Model Number Prefix:

Model PrefixCommon NameNAND
Flash
DRAMInternal
Storage
External
Storage
CPU/
GPU
Analog
Sticks
ResolutionWi-Fi
802.11
BluetoothCameraCellularTV-OutGPSDisplay
Size
Internal
Mic
3-Axis
Gyro
Accelerometer
Compass
InfraRedPhysical
Game
Format
PSP-10PSP Fat32MB32MBNoMS Pro DuoMIPS R4000/
MIPS R4000
1480x272
LCD
bNo1.30MP
(External)
NoNoYes
(External)
4.3"NoNoYesUMD Disc
PSP-20PSP Slim64MB64MBNoMS Pro DuoMIPS R4000/
MIPS R4000
1480x272
LCD
bNo1.30MP
(External)
NoYesYes
(External)
4.3"NoNoNoUMD Disc
PSP-30PSP Brite64MB64MBNoMS Pro DuoMIPS R4000/
MIPS R4000
1480x272
LCD
bNo1.30MP
(External)
NoYesYes
(External)
4.3"YesNoNoUMD Disc
PSP-E10PSP Budget64MB64MBNoMS Pro DuoMIPS R4000/
MIPS R4000
1480x272
LCD
NoNo1.30MP
(External)
NoNoYes
(External)
4.3"NoNoNoUMD Disc
PSP-N10PSP Go64MB64MB16GB FlashMS M2MIPS R4000/
MIPS R4000
1480x272
LCD
b3.01.30MP
(External)
NoYesYes
(External)
3.8"YesNoNoNo
Model PrefixCommon NameNAND
Flash
DRAMInternal
Storage
External
Storage
CPU/
GPU
Analog
Sticks
ResolutionWi-Fi
802.11
BluetoothCameraCellularTV-OutGPSDisplay
Size
Internal
Mic
3-Axis
Gyro
Accelerometer
Compass
InfraRedPhysical
Game
Format
PCH-10PSVita WiFi?512MB
128MB VRAM
PSVita Memory CardCortex-A9 4Core/
SGX543MP4+
2960x544
OLED
b/g/n2.1 (A2DP)VGA
VGA
NoNoNo5.0"YesYesNoPSVita
Game Card
PCH-11PSVita 3G?512MB
128MB VRAM
PSVita Memory CardCortex-A9 4Core/
SGX543MP4+
2960x544
OLED
b/g/n2.1 (A2DP)VGA
VGA
3GNoYes5.0"YesYesNoPSVita
Game Card

In the above chart, MS=Memory Stick. MP=MegaPixels, MB=MegaByte, GB=GigaByte.

Model Number Suffix:

Model SuffixDescriptionRegionSIM Locked
00Japan2NTT DoCoMo
01North America1AT&T
02Australia and New Zealand4
03United Kingdom2
04European Union2
05South Korea5
06Hong Kong and Singapore3NO
07Taiwan3
08Russia5
09China6
10South America



PSVita Model Number

To come up with an actual PSVita model number, just take the Model Prefix from the first table and append it to the Model Suffix in the second table to indicate country or region. For example, the PSVita 3G version sold in Hong Kong would have model number PCH-1106. Likewise, a PSVita Wi-Fi version sold in USA would have model number PCH-1001.


Note that some PSVita 3G models are SIM-locked, meaning you cannot use a different cellular carrier's SIM card other than the "locked" in supported one. For the Japanese PSVita 3G version, it is locked to DoCoMo. The USA version is locked to AT&T. The Hong Kong PSVita is not SIM locked. It should also be noted that the 3G PSVita also works with 2G (GPRS and EDGE). You don't need to specifically use W-CDMA 3G to use data services on the PSVita. In fact, if you import the Hong Kong PSVita 3G, it will work with any GSM 2G carrier that supports GPRS and EDGE. 2G prices are cheaper than 3G prices anyways. If a supported 3G (W-CDMA) is detected, a 3G symbol will show up in the upper left hand corner of the PSVita screen. If on 3G, and higher speed HSUPA or HSDPA is being used, a H symbol will show up instead of 3G. Note that sometimes a carrier may use a 3G frequency not supported by the PSVita (like T-Mobile in some USA areas using 1700MHz), and the PSVita will fall back on detected 2G signals. If only 2G data (GPRS or EDGE) is detected, a 2G symbol will be shown instead. Wi-Fi overrides H, H overrides 3G, and 3G overrides 2G support. The PSVita will use them in that order, first come first serve if it can detect it. Note that the 2G symbol will only come on when you are using GPRS or EDGE (the 2G data portion), not GSM (the voice portion that 2G cellular phones use).


Serial Number

Initial launch PSVita serial numbers have 2 letters followed by 7 digits, for a total of 9 characters.

Early PSVita Models

Before the consumer PSVita was released, earlier models existed. These models were made for developers and also to test if the system was viable. Early PSVita were actually called NGP (probably stands for Next Generation Portable), or PSP2. Many concepts were made, including 5.5" screen, PSP Go sliding design, clamshell design (like NDS), touch based analog sticks (like those pads on notebook computers), and many others. Tokashi Sogabe of the Sony Corporate Design Center designed the original Sony Walkman and had a big part in the PSVita design.

Future PSVita Models

Every once and a while, new PS Vita models are released by Sony. If you wish to know ahead of time what the new models are, you can visit: https://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/oetcf/eas/reports/GenericSearch.cfm Enter for Grantee Code: AK8 Enter for Product Code: CEC You should get a listing of the products released by Sony pertaining to the PSVita. Check the latest dates to verify rumors of upcoming products. Although they are mainly for peripherals, you may need to leave out the CEC and go through all the list (unfortunately a lot of them) to pinpoint down the products models for PS3.

PSVita Game compatibility

PSVita games (on PSVita Game Cards) are not region locked, but they are released and labelled with numerical regions codes (which seems to match DVD region codes). Any PSVita game from any region will play in any PSVita. All PSVita games have a serial number containing a four character prefix, followed by a five digit suffix. The following are the common prefix for PSVita games:

PrefixDescription
VCASFirst Party, Asia
VCJSFirst Party, Japan
VLASThird Party, Asia
VLJMThird Party, Japan
VLJSThird Party, Japan
VCUSFirst Party, US
VLUSThird Party, US
VCESFirst Party, Europe
VLESThird Party, Europe

The first letter indicates the storage format. Normally, it is V for PSVita card format. PS3 games usually has B (for Blu-ray) instead of V. The second letter indicates if the game is first party (C = Sony), or licensed from third party (L = others). The third letter indicates: A=Asia, J=Japan, U=United States, or E=Europe. The last letter indicates the type: D = Demo, S = Game, M = ?. Note that for some third party games, Sony may take it and repackage with appropriate material for other territories, thus the game become first party.

A sample PSVita game serial number like Uncharted: Golden Abyss released in asia is: VCAS-34001.


PSVita Audio


The following summarizes the different audio related features on all the devices:

Device ModelBuilt-in
Speakers
Built-in
Microphone
Headphone
Microphone
Support
(wired headset)
Built-in
Volume Control
Buttons
Headphone
Volume Control
Support
(wired headset)
PSVita Wi-Fi2 Stereo Speakers1YesYesYes
PSVita 3G2 Stereo Speakers1YesYesYes


Note that the Music app in the PSVita is able to multitask and play in the background, even when you are within a PSVita game. To enable this feature, simply start the music from the Music app before entering your game. If you want to change the tracks when in game, press the PS (PlayStation) button, which will bring you to the operating system level screen. From there, you can choose the Music app again to pause the music, change tracks, or whatever. To switch back to the game, simply select your game again. The PS button acts like a multitasking button in this case, bringing you in and out of different apps. Audio can also be piped to a Bluetooth headset (music, game audio, or both). See peripherals section for some Sony compatible Bluetooth headsets.

Speakers

Every PSVita contains two stereo internal speakers for you to listen to sound without using headphones, and are located on the face (near the left and right analog sticks). This is the same as the first generation PSP, except for the PSP Budget model with only one mono speaker.

Microphone

The PSVita line all have an internal mic, located on the bottom of the PSVita.

Volume Control

The PSVita has volume control buttons, on the top of the device near the right. Note that volume control buttons stated here does not pertain to those located on a headset (bluetooth).

Headphones Jack

In addition to the regular internal speakers, microphone, and volume control buttons built-in, there is also a headphones jack that allows you to plug in a wired headset to your device so that these audio hardware parts are closer to your ears. The PSVita headphones jack is located on the bottom of the device near the right.



PSVita Video


The PSVita video can be output to the default device display screen, or through the internet on Wi-Fi. Video can be input via the internet (Wi-Fi) or the built-in camera(s).

Cameras


There is a camera on the front and back side of all PSVita models. Although the cameras may have higher specs, you are only allowed to take pictures with the built-in software at max resolution of 640x480 (VGA). What this means is that although the OLED screen will display a clear picture (indicating a nice camera), once you click the button, the compared saved pictures are a little blurry. Augmented reality types of applications can use one of the two supported modes of 120fps at 320x240 resolution, or 60fps at 640x480 resolution. The following is a breakdown of the max camera resolutions in either mode.

Portable DeviceBuilt-in
Camera
Max Camera ResolutionComments
Photo ModeVideo Mode (recording)
PSP Fat1.3 MegaPixel1280x900480x272 (30fps)using PSP-300 (not PSP-450x)
PSP Slim1.3 MegaPixel1280x900480x272 (30fps)using PSP-300 (not PSP-450x)
PSP Brite1.3 MegaPixel1280x900480x272 (30fps)using PSP-300 (not PSP-450x)
PSP Go1.3 MegaPixel1280x900480x272 (30fps)using PSP-300 (not PSP-450x)
PSVita Wi-FiVGA640x480640x480 (60fps)Back-Facing
1.3 MegaPixel640x480640x480 (60fps)Front-Facing
PSVita 3GVGA640x480640x480 (60fps)Back-Facing
1.3 MegaPixel640x480640x480 (60fps)Front-Facing




Display Resolution


The device screen display has considerably less resolution than what the built-in back-side camera provides for taking pictures. PSVita has 960x544 pixels on a 5.0" OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) display.

This is one of the weaknesses of these initial devices, having such low resolution when a lot of manufacturers are aiming for 1920x1080p. In comparison with the aging iPhone 4, it actually has 96 fewer horizontal lines (iPhone 4 has a 960x640 IPS-LCD display).

The PSVita has improved the display to 221 pixels per inch (pip), within the display size of 5.0" (inches). The original PSP, on the other hand, has a lower pixel per inch of 128ppi, and is using a smaller 4.3" screen. The small PSP Go had a 145ppi, using an even smaller 3.8" display screen.

Unfortunately, initial specs indicate that the PSVita does not support Video Out, so you are limited to enjoying your games on the small 5" screen.

The following chart summarizes the different displays:

Device ModelInternal Display OutputScreen
Size
ResolutionPixels/InchComments
PSP Fat24 bits. TN TFT LCD4.3"480x272128ppi
PSP Slim24 bits. TN TFT LCD4.3"480x272128ppi
PSP Brite24 bits. TN TFT LCD4.3"480x272128ppi
PSP Go24 bits. TN TFT LCD3.8"480x272145ppi
PSVita Wi-Fi24 bits. OLED5.0"960x544221ppi
PSVita 3G24 bits. OLED5.0"960x544221ppi
iPhone 3GS18 bits + Spatial Dithering. TN TFT LCD3.5"480x320163ppi
iPhone 424 bits. IPS TFT LCD. LED-backlit3.5"960x640326ppi
iPad (All)24 bits. IPS TFT LCD. LED-backlit9.7"1024x768132ppi

Display Screen

The PSVita screen can accept capacitive multi-touch input. An additional capacitive multi-touch pad is on the back side of the PSVita. Note that this is different from regular resistive touch that sense pressure. Capacitive touch detects electricity generated from your fingers. The maximum number of touches is at least 2 for the PSVita, and it is unknown if it can support more than competing Apple products. The iPhone 4 can only detect a maximum of 5 touches at the same time. The iPad can support 11 touches at the same time. You can take a picture of the current PSVita screen by pressing the PS Button and Start Button together release quickly. The resulting picture will be stored in Photos collection.

Display Color Space


The PSVita seems capable of supporting the regular sRGB color space, but is untested.

Display Color depth

The number of bits used on the PSVita to display a single pixel of color is 24 bits. Unlike the launch PSP models where the early units used defective LCD panels (containing an average of 1 to 3 stuck or faulty pixels) to keep costs down, the launch PSVita models have almost defect free displays. Like standard PC True Color displays, using 8 bits for each of the primary colors, for a total of 24 bits per pixel, the PSVita can use 24 bits to provide a maximum of 16,777,216 colors (2^24).

The PSVita doesn't seem to use spatial or temporal like the iPhone 3GS used 18 bits plus spatial hardware dithering (with 6 bits used for each of the Red, Green, and Blue primary colors). 18 bits can only provide a maximum of 262,144 colors (2^18). However, the iPhone 3GS has hardware that will try to place closely colored values in a pattern to "simulate" the intermediate value that it can't display directly. This will make the display "seem" to be able to display 24 bit True Color, when actually it can't.

OLED Subpixel Arrangements

The first launch models of PSVita uses OLED displays made by Samsung, called Super AMOLED Plus. AMOLED stands for Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode, and Super AMOLED means it uses an evaporating touch screen layer directly on top of the OLED layers (instead of leaving a gap between the touch screen layer and the OLED). The Plus behind Super AMOLED is important, as it signifies the arrangement of the subpixels are normal RGB. Luckily the PSVita uses this Super-AMOLED Plus technology, which basically match the number of Red and Blue subpixels with the number of Green pixels (essentially regular RGB). The PSVita is very close to the iPhone 4 in resolution (just 96 fewer horizontal lines).

Here is a 500x magnification of a PSVita RGB pixel (in yellow), compared to the original PSP:

PSVita RGB PixelPSP Fat RGB Pixel


The PPI of the PSVita is 221ppi, which is not exactly double the 128ppi of the original PSP (with half the resolution length and height wise) because the PSVita has a bigger screen. The PSVita has a resolution of 960x544 compared to the 480x272 resolution of the PSP. See PSP Display Pixels and iPhone Display Pixels to compare PSVita's pixels with other mobile devices.

Samsung also makes a lower quality OLED called just Super AMOLED (without the Plus), which uses PenTile Matrix subpixel arrangement. Pentile Matrix uses subpixels to trick your eyes into seeing more resolution. For example, ClearType (a Microsoft technology) uses subpixels to smooth font displays. When a LCD monitor specifies that the resolution is 1024x768, then that means the monitor can display that many pixels (horizontal and vertical) all at once in different differentiated colors. Each pixel has three subpixels of Red, Green, and Blue. In ClearType technology, you borrow unused subpixels from nearby pixels to smooth out and seemingly increase your pixel count and resolution. If you borrow one of the subpixels, then you may seemingly increase the resolution, but somehow create bleeded colors on the edges (because you are only borrowing a subpixel of red, green, or blue, not a whole pixel that you can display in any color). Regular Super AMOLED takes advantage of subpixels and rearranges them so that it is possible to more easily use subpixels, but cheated in their marketing and said the seemingly increased subpixels as the actual resolution instead of the real resolution count. If the LCD monitor did the same thing, you can easily say it supports 3 times its real resolution!. The real resolution count (the actual total number of pixels you can display in any color all at once) is 33% lower for PenTile Matrix because it is missing a lot of Red and Blue subpixels to match the number of greater green subpixels. What this means is that for pictures and videos you may not notice the lower resolution, but for actual text, you will notice this lower resolution (and more jaggies and bleeding of colors) compared to a regular LCD with the true marketed resolution. If the PSVita used regular Super AMOLED, the actual PSVita resolution would have been 33% lower in total number of different pixels. If counting horizontal and vertical edges it would be about 81.64% of actual resolution, so the PSVita would have been 783x444 in resolution instead of 960x544 (like it is now).







PSVita Hardware

Main System Memory

The PSVita has 512MB of system RAM, utilizing two 256MB Samsung K4P2G324EC Mobile DDR chips. Its detailed specifications are 46nm, 1.2 V, and LPDDR2-S4 SDRAM (Low-Power Double Data Rate 2, 4n prefetch memory synchronous dynamic random-access memory). The memory is packaged in the same die as the CPU (labeled Sony CXD5315GG). It is believed that the development PSVita version has 1GB of RAM.

Note that on the 3G version of PSVita, the daughterboard containing the broadband chip utilizes an extra Toshiba TY890A111222KA Mobile SDR SDRAM Memory.

ARM CPU

The PSVita uses the ARM CPU architecture. The PSVita uses the 1GHz version of the Cortex-A9 (with 4 cores). Samsung manufactures these chips for Sony for the initial PSVita launch, using 45nm process.

DeviceMain ChipARM TechClock
Speed
Max
Speed
Memory BusCacheProcessPipeline
Stages
Instruction
Set
Architecture
Embedded
DRAM
Misc
Die MarkingFamilyL1L2
PSVita Wi-Fi??ARM Cortex-A9 (4 cores)?1GHz64-bit64KB Total (I+D) L1?KB L245nm13ARMv7NoNEON extension support
VXD375 video processor
PSVita 3G??ARM Cortex-A8 (4 cores)?1GHz64-bit64KB Total (I+D) L1?KB L245nm13ARMv7NoNEON extension support
VXD375 video processor

One important feature that is missing in a lot of mobile devices is L2 Cache. A Cache is the memory buffer to speed up loading of data from the DRAM and giving it to the CPU. L1 is inside the CPU, and L2 is usually located outside, between the CPU and main memory. If the L2 cache is too small, reading and writing from main memory becomes a bottleneck. For example, on the Apple A4, the Cortex A-8 usually came with 256kB L2 cache, but Apple uses 640kB to improve performance.

Note that you can increase the CPU clock frequency, and thus increase the speed of the processor. Sony has done this once already via a firmware update.

PowerVR GPU

The PowerVR is a graphical processor unit (GPU). The technology of PowerVR was actually invented for the Sega DreamCast game console (back in late 1999). It lost to nVidia and ATI when competing for the PC (personal computer) market because of low performance. Imagine Technologies (the designer of PowerVR series of GPU) then repackaged the PowerVR for the mobile market at low cost. The PowerVR SGX series support OpenGL ES 2.0.

Note that the GPU clock speed affects overall graphical performance, and battery draining speed as well.

ModelGPUGPU FrequencyOpenGL ES VersionComments
PSVita (All)PowerVR SGX 543MP4+ (4 cores)300 Mhz?2.0Uses ARMv7 processor


All PowerVR graphics chips use Tile-Based Deferred Rendering in hardware. Essentially what it does is break up the screen into tiles and process each tile independently, rather than process the whole screen in whole. Because of this quirk, it is harder to program on, and the graphical effects (like texturing) are highly dependent on fixed hardware implementation. The SGX's terminology for its programmable shader is USSE (Universal Scalar Shader Engine), and actually uses an embedded ARMv7 CPU to do most of its work. Most of the differences between the generations of the SGX is based on the variation of number of ALU (Arithmetic Logic Units) and TMU (Texture Mapping Units).

PowerVR chipALUTMUFillrateComments
MBX Lite11 Pixel/2 ClocksOpenGL ES 1.1
SGX 5201 USSE11
SGX 5302 USSE11
SGX 5312 USSE11128 bit bus
SGX 5352 USSE122 Pixels/ClockOpenGL 2.0, DirectX 9 support
SGX 5404 USSE12
SGX 5434 USSE222-16 cores
SGX 5454 USSE12OpenGL 2.0/3.0, DirectX 9/10.1 support


Here are the benchmarks for doing the most basic low level 3D triangles on each device (Flat Shaded + Color) for the PowerVR SGX535:
What about PSVita? Since the SGX 543 has an extra TMU, and you get 3 extra cores, you can multiply by 8 the figures for iPhone 4 for the bottom performance minimum figures given the same clock frequency (it will then increase as you increase the clock speed and other specialized logic included in the PSVita). Note that those figures above are for the most basic non-textured triangles and provides the maximum practically achievable ceiling of performance. Any 3D application will have many times substantially less triangles, because of texturing and other fancy lighting and shading. Most paper specs do not reflect real world performance, as the figures above reveal. For example, the SGX 535 in the iPhone 3GS has a paper spec of 28 million triangles per second, more than 4 times the benchmarked performance figure. The original PSP is stated to perform 33 million triangles per second. However, for the PSVita, the PowerVR SGX543 may achieve a higher benchmark because Sony is known for providing developers with low access to the hardware. What this means is that you don't need to go through a software layer (like OpenGL), and this may significantly increase the performance.

Storage Flash Memory


The PSVita has a flash memory card port, for you to insert PSVita Memory Card. Before there was flash memory, computers usually used a harddrive. In small devices, it is more feasible to simply store data in non-volatile flash memory.

Note that this is the same type of flash memory found in flash memory cards like SanDisk, Memory Stick, and CompactFlash. You can insert removable PSVita Memory Cards to increase the size of your internal flash storage, but you can not use it to store system related files (these are operating system dependent files on the internal NAND flash). The PSVita Memory Cards are very small and look similar to a MicroSD or Memory Stick M2 card, and can be used to download games from the PSN. Note that the PSVita Memory Cards, when bought, are blank and are not the same thing as the bigger PSVita Game Cards you can purchase at the store.

Firmware Flash Memory

There is NAND flash memory in the PSVita to store critical system files, unrelated to the removable PSVita Memory Card flash. The PSVita boots from the internal NAND flash storage.

Firmware Versions

The PSVita firmware is updated frequently. Note that the firmware contains a payload to update the baseband firmware. The baseband chip is responsible for communicating with the cell towers. Because of differing baseband hardware, some firmware updates contain multiple baseband firmware to match the correct hardware.



Battery

The PSVita has a DC3.7V 2200mA battery inside. It is difficult to remove them (like the iPhone 4) without specialized tools.



Accelerometer


Every PSVita model contains a 3-axis accelerometer, which detects absolute angle orientation of the device about two axis (roll and pitch) and relative linear movement about three axis (X, Y, and Z axis). Please note that with this chip alone the PSVita can only determine the absolute degree angle of the device in reference to gravity (thus the roll and pitch detection, not yaw). The chip provides two gravity detection units on each axis. What this generally means is that you can know the direction to the ground for the two detection units of any axis on the iphone and from this comparison derive the absolute angle (or rotation) in degrees the device is tilted on any side in reference to the ground (but this does not provide the degrees any side is rotated from magnetic north). If 3D relative linear movement detection was not needed, a 2-axis accelerometer would have sufficed (a lack of yaw detection from gravity), but your PSVita's initial state may not always be flat on the table, so you need the 3rd axis to allow any angular tilt of the device as a starting initial state. The linear acceleration movement detection is relative to current position, not absolute to a fixed position in space, so it has no idea how far it moved, only how fast (relatively) it has moved in any 3D direction before you stopped moving it. Note that it is an accelerometer, so if you are moving in a stable direction at a constant speed, but never accelerating, nor slowing down, you will have no relative linear movement detection. In addition, during constant dynamic movement or accelerating (like in a car or elevator), it will affect the accuracy of the angular rotation readout (especially when you have vertical movement), because you will add or subtract from the acceleration of gravity, besides being confused which directional acceleration is gravity. In other words, with a 3-axis accelerometer, besides relative linear movement detection in any direction, the PSVita can detect very accurately what absolute degree angle the device is tilted or rotated (on any side) in reference to a fixed ground plane, but it would have no idea which corner or which area of the device is closer to north, east, south, or west.

The Accelerometer in the PSVita is Kionix KXTC9.

Gyroscope


The PSVita contains a 3-axis gyroscope. The difference between a gyroscope and an accelerometer is that a gyroscope can better detect relative degree of rotation on any of the three axis (roll, pitch, and yaw) even if the PSVita is currently moving or accelerating in a certain direction (like in a car or elevator). Please note that this angled degree of rotation detection is only relative, not absolute (which the 3-axis accelerometer can do on the two axis of roll and pitch). In other words, with a 3-axis gyroscope, the PSVita can detect very accurately how much you have rotated on any axis (again, not just roll and pitch, but yaw also) while you are rotating it, but can't tell you the exact angular rotational degree your iphone is current held at on any of the axis in reference to a fixed plane (like the flat ground), nor to an absolution yaw direction like magnetic north.

The Gyro in the PSVita is STMicroelectronics 3GA51H.

Digital Compass

The PSVita also contain a 3-axis electronic compass (magnetometer), which allows detection of the direction of magnetic north. With this additional digital compass chip, you can tell which direction the PSVita is pointing when flat on the table (or even which corner is closer to the north from any current angular tilt because it is 3-axis). Note that unlike a gyroscope, a magnetometer can detect absolute yaw rotation to a fixed direction like north, and not limited to relative yaw. In companion with GPS data, it allows for hardware assisted turn-by-turn GPS. A digital compass is useful for certain location aware applications like navigational, augmented reality, and certain types of 3D games.

The PSVita probably uses an AKM magnetic compass.



Moisture Sensor

There are moisture sensitive areas inside all the devices to detect whether water was the cause of malfunction if the device was returned.


Peripherals

Many PSVita specific peripherals or accessories exist that plug into the port at the top or bottom of the device. Note that the port at the top of the PSVita is different in size than the port at the bottom. There may in the future be a better resolution camera that plugs into the top of the PSVita (just like there were different resolution cameras available for the original PSP's USB port). Note that the ports on the PSPVita are different from the proprietary port found in the PSP Go.

Bluetooth Peripherals

The PSVita can support Bluetooth peripherals, so there is an unlimited list of future peripherals that can be connected, as long as the Bluetooth profile for your peripheral is supported.

Model NumberNameDescription
CEJH-15002Wireless HeadsetSCPH-98095, CECHYAS-0075
DC 5V, 100mA
Bluetooth headset.

To put the Wireless Headset into Bluetooth discovery mode, make sure it is off first (no flashing green light). Then press and hold "Power" for 8 seconds. The device should flash alternating green and red light to indicate it is in discovery mode. (if passcode is requested on the PSVita, use 0000).


When the Wireless Headset is on, the green light near the "Power" Button will flash once briefly every 3 seconds.
When the Wireless Headset is connected to another device and is receiving audio, the "Power" button will flash twice briefly every 3 seconds.
When the Wireless Headset is being charged (by Mini-USB cable for instance), the red MIC MUTE button will flash briefly every 3 seconds.
When the Wireless Headset is low on battery, you will hear 3 short beeps constantly, and the red MIC MUTE button will flash briefly every 10 seconds.

Pressing and holding "Power" button for 3 seconds will turn on Wireless Headset (when currently off). Eight musical notes will play in earpiece.
Pressing and holding "Power" button for 6 seconds will turn off Wireless Headset (when currently on). Eight musical notes will play in earpiece.

Pressing the "Mic Mute" button once quickly will turn on or off the mic mute (if mic is supported by the connected device application).
  • One beep means Mic Mute is off (Mic input is on)
  • Two beeps means Mic Mute is on (Mic input is off)


This peripheral also works with the iPhone, and instructions are available at iPhone Bluetooth Headsets.
CECHZK1Wireless KeypadSCPH-98048
DC 5V, 500mA
Battery Supply: DC 3.7V
Originally attaches to the Sixaxis or DualShock 3 controller and allows keyboard input.


The touch pad can be recalibrated by clicking the touch button (looks like a hand) until it lights up, then hold both blue and orange shoulder buttons for 3 seconds.


To pair the Wireless Keypad with other Bluetooth devices, you can set the keypad into discovery mode. To enable Bluetooth discovery mode on the Wireless Keypad, flip the power switch from off to on while holding down the blue pad button (on the left side). Keep holding it down for about 4 seconds, and the red power light and the green CAPS and Touch buttons will flash alternately, indicating that the Wireless Keypad is in discovery mode. You can now enter the passcode on the keypad provided by the connecting device and it should be connected.

Note that on the PSVita, this peripheral is not fully supported. While in pairing mode, you can enter any passcode on the PSVita first. Then press the same passcode on the Wireless Keypad and press return key. It will complain "Could not find a profile supported by the PS Vita system".

There is a small hole in the back of the keypad that when pressed resets the device (useful for bluetooth connections gone awry).


This peripheral also works with the iPhone.


PSVita Security

Unlike a regular computer, the PSVita 3G contains a separate chip (baseband chip) running a separate operating system for communicating with the cell towers. Therefore, because of the two operating systems (one for the main CPU and another separate OS running on the baseband chip), any attempt at describing the security layers must take into account which of the two is being described. The PSVita also has its own unique terminology for many things related to its security that is different from personal computers.

Jailbreak: Hacking the PSVita to allow installation of homebrew programs on the main CPU.
Unlock: Hacking the PSVita to allow usage of SIM cards from different network carriers (modification of baseband firmware running on Baseband CPU).

Note that some PSVitas are sold unlocked.



Baseband software

The Baseband software is an operating system running inside the Baseband chip. This software is what controls the baseband chip to communicate with the cell towers, and thus allow you to use cell 3G functionality on your device. The PSVita Wi-Fi do not utilize any of this software.

The PSVita probably runs the ThreadX OS baseband software on the PMB9800 baseband CPU (X-Gold 618).




Encryption Keys

The PSVita uses AES keys.

Filesystem Layout


The filesystem layer is similar to downloaded PS3 games from the PSN.



PSVita Networking


The most common way for a device to communicate with the surrounding is to receive and send frequency waves. The PSVita is no exception, as it has various chips to generate and interpret a wide range of frequencies.

Network TypeNetwork TechnologyFrequency Spectrum
(Converted to GHz)
Supported Sony Devices
AM RadioAmplitude Modulation
(535 kHz - 1705 kHz)
.000535 - .001705 GHz
FM RadioFrequency Modulation
(88 MHz - 108 MHz)
.088 - .108 GHz
Cellular 1GAMPS
(800 MHz)
.800 GHz
Cellular 2GcdmaOne
(450, 800, 1900 MHz)
.450 GHz
.800 GHz
1.900 GHz
GSM/GPRS/EDGE
(850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
.850 GHz
.900 GHz
1.800 GHz
1.900 GHz
PSVita 3G
Cellular 3GUMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA
(850, 1900, 2100 MHz)
.850 GHz
1.900 GHz
2.100 GHz
PSVita 3G
UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA
(900 MHz)
.900 GHzPSVita 3G
GPSGPS L1 (C/A-code)1.57542 GHzPSVita 3G
GPS L2 (P-code)1.22760 GHz
1.57542 GHz
Wireless PeripheralsBluetooth 2.1 + EDR2.450 - 2.4835 GHzPSVita (all)
Wireless LANWi-Fi 802.11b/g2.450 GHzPSVita (all)
Wi-Fi 802.11n2.450 GHz
5.800 GHz
PSVita (all)
Wi-Fi 802.11a5.800 GHz
InfraredIrDA
(344.828 THz)
344828 GHz
IrDA
(322.580 THz)
322580 GHz
IrDA
(315.789 THz)
315789 GHz


Pink entries indicate not supported by any of the PSVita devices. Note that the cellphone frequency numerical name is actually the radio frequency used in MHz. UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 in MHz) is actually .85 GHz, 1.9 GHz, and 2.1GHz, respectively. GSM (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz) is similarly .85GHz, .9GHz, 1.8GHz, and 1.9GHz, respectively. Wi-Fi uses 2.45GHz (and 5.8GHz if you consider 802.11a and 802.11n), while Bluetooth uses 2.45 - 2.4835 GHz. Therefore, the PSVita 3G has at least 10 antennas inside to communicate in all those frequencies (3 for 3G, 4 for GSM, 1 for Wi-Fi, 1 for GPS, and 1 for Bluetooth). This is not including FM radio (Frequency Modulation) at 88 MHz - 108 MHz (or .088 GHz - .108 GHz). AM radio (Amplitude Modulation) is at the very low end of .535 MHz - 1.705 MHz (or .000535 GHz - .001705 GHz). Every supported frequency (yellow sections above) will be explained in more detail below, but to understand the above chart better, here is a conversion chart for the units involved:

Wavelength Unit Equality Chart
1 km (kilometer)1000 m (meter)
1 m (meter)1000 mm (millimeter)
1 dm (decimeter)100 mm (millimeter)
1 cm (centimeter)10 mm (millimeter)
1 mm (millimeter)1000 um (micrometer)
1 um (micrometer)1000 nm (nanometer)
Hertz Unit Equality Chart
1 THz (terahertz)1000 GHz (gigahertz)
1 GHz (gigahertz)1000 MHz (megahertz)
1 MHz (megahertz)1000 kHz (kilohertz)
1 kHz (kilohertz)1000 Hz (hertz)
Hertz to Wavelength Conversion ChartComments
344.828 THz (terahertz)870 nm (nanometer)IrDA Infrared
322.580 THz (terahertz)930 nm (nanometer)IrDA Infrared
315.789 THz (terahertz)950 nm (nanometer)IrDA Infrared
5.8 GHz (gigahertz)5.172 cm (centimeter)Wi-Fi 802.11a/n
2.4835 GHz (gigahertz)12.080 cm (centimeter)Bluetooth
2.45 GHz (gigahertz)12.245 cm (centimeter)Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth
2100 MHz (megahertz)14.286 cm (centimeter)3G (UMTS)
1900 MHz (megahertz)15.790 cm (centimeter)2G (cdmaOne, GSM), 3G (UMTS)
1800 MHz (megahertz)16.667 cm (centimeter)2G (GSM)
1.57542 GHz (gigahertz)19.042 cm (centimeter)GPS L1/L2
1.22760 GHz (gigahertz)24.438 cm (centimeter)GPS L2 (military only)
900 MHz (megahertz)33.333 cm (centimeter)2G (GSM), 3G (UMTS)
850 MHz (megahertz)35.294 cm (centimeter)2G (GSM), 3G (UMTS)
800 MHz (megahertz)37.5 cm (centimeter)1G (AMPS), 2G (cdmaOne)
450 MHz (megahertz)66.67 cm (centimeter)2G (cdmaOne)
108 MHz (megahertz)2.778 m (meter)FM radio
88 MHz (megahertz)3.409 m (meter)FM radio
1705 kHz (kilohertz)175.953 m (meter)AM radio
535 kHz (kilohertz)560.748 m (meter)AM radio

In case you forgot, conversion between wavelength and frequency is this equation:
wavelength (meter) * frequency (hertz) = 299792458 meters/sec (speed of light)

In other words, speed of light divided by either wavelength or frequency will yield the counterpart.

Note that IrDA LED generated infrared frequency are too fast to use directly, so the LEDS are turned on and off at a modulated frequency of 33 kHz - 60 kHz, and this is used for bits transmission instead. 33 - 60 kHz equates to .000033 - .000060 GHz.



Cellular 1G

Cellular technology is based on the concept of "cells" of coverage. Each cell would be served by a tall antenna broadcasting and receiving signals for all the users. As each user moves farther away from a "cell", they are picked up by another closer "cell" antenna. Each cellular antenna would communicate with each other and with the user's device so that reception is not interrupted. Cellular 1G (the first generation of cell technology) is based on AMPS (Advanced Mobile Phone System). It is an analog mobile phone technology that worked over the 800MHz Cellular FM band. AMPS is no longer in use and has been replaced by cellular 2G technology.

Cellular 2G

Cellular 2G (the second generation of cell technology) is usually based on GSM (Global System for Mobile communications). GSM uses TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access). A competing CDMA standard (cdmaOne) was created that uses Code Division Multiple Access, but this 2G standard was not very popular. GSM became popular in Europe, and from there spread widely throughout the world. When you talk on the cellphone, you are usually using GSM. It is fairly slow and rates about 9.6kbps. The 3G can actually use PSVita "2G", but only uses the data portion, not the voice portion of GSM. All PSVitas support 2G using 850, 900, 1900, and 2100 Mhz frequencies. You can manually select "2G" instead of "3G" (if the costs are lower for this slower speed plan), by going into:

Settings->Network->Mobile Network Settings->Operator Settings->Manual

and choosing a 2G operator.

Data

Note GSM does not allow simultaneous Voice and Data connections. If you are texting on a cellphone, SMS (Short Messaging Service allowing 160 characters) normally uses a voice connection line of GSM (which is a special case of simultaneous Voice and Data connection using GSM's quality control line), but surfing the internet and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) requires a real data connection.

GPRS

GPRS stands for General Radio Packet Standard. The GPRS data connection provides uploading and downloading data at a very slow rate of 20-80kbps depending on the implementation. This is the lowest speed cellular technology used when connecting to the internet on the PSVita. When not using any higher speeds, you should see a "2G" symbol in the top left corner of your PSVita screen. Note that three modes that GPRS can be configured by the network carrier (Class A, B, and C). Many carriers configure GPRS to Class B, which means if you are using the GPRS (using the browser for example), voice calls can't get through and is routed to voicemail (if available). Class A allows interruption, and Class C requires manual switching. For the PSVita using "2G", since there is no voice application, this is not an inconvenience when surfing the internet with GPRS (even if you could get interrupted, you can't take the call). You can use Wi-Fi (instead of GPRS) to surf the internet.

EDGE

EDGE stands for Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution. Another name for this technology is EGPRS (Enhanced GPRS). EDGE basically enhances GPRS data connection so it reaches faster data upload and download speeds of 59.2-236.8kbps depending on the implementation. Although it is considered a little faster than GPRS, it is still in the territory of "2G" data. The PSVita does not distinguish between GPRS and EDGE, and only displays a "2G" symbol to signify either in use.

Signal Strength

The signal bar strength indicator at the top left corner of the PSVita screen can show five different levels. Each bar shows that a specific strength of cellular signal has been surpassed, with the taller the bar the better the signal. In actuality, the bars simply light up depending on whether a negative numerical value representative of the cellular signal, from -121 (bad signal) to -51 (excellent signal), has been exceeded. Here are the values:



The bars can show cellular 2G signal strength or 3G signal strength depending on what is in use.

Cellular 3G

Cellular 3G (the third generation of cell technology) has many competing standards. In actual use, there are three standards used in the world:

All three are not compatible with each other. CDMA2000 1xRTT evolved from cdmaOne to better compete with GSM, and it can actually be described as 2.5G (maximum speed of 144kbps), although a more recent enhanced version called CDMA2000 1xEV-DO is actually 3G (max 3.1Mbps). W-CDMA was created to replace GSM and it is commonly called UMTS (Universal Mobile Telephone System) in Europe. W-CDMA can currently go up to 14.4Mbps. TD-SCDMA is a China invented 3G standard (it actually co-exists there with both CDMA-2000 and W-CDMA).

The PSVita elected to use W-CDMA as their 3G technology. Therefore, you should see the "3G" letters in the top left hand corner of your PSVita when you are using W-CDMA.

The PSVita uses the MDM6200 chip for W-CDMA 3G communication. This chip supports four 3G frequencies (850, 900, 1900, and 2100 Mhz). More features of this chip include:


The PSVita 3G therefore provides 384kbps for regular W-CDMA 3G download and upload speeds (the "3G" will light up in this case). Concerning the different frequencies, it behaves like the differing frequencies of AM and FM. Lower frequency (like AM) travel farther because it can bounce around easier, while higher frequency (like FM) gets blocked easier, thus travels a shorter distance. In the United States, there are less .85 GHz (850 MHz) towers than 1.9 GHz (1900 MHz) towers, which is unfortunate because lower frequency (.85 GHz) signals travel farther and better penetrates thick walls compared to higher frequency signals. The standard UMTS 384kbps bit-rate is quite slow, so some cellphone networks support W-CDMA enhancement technologies:

HSDPA

HSDPA stands for High Speed Download Packet Access, and provides higher download speed than standard W-CDMA (384kbps). Depending on cell network implementation, download speed increments include 1.2Mbps, 1.8Mbps, 3.6Mbps, 7.2Mbps, 10.1Mbps, and 14.4Mbps. The PSVita 3G supports HSDPA 14.4Mbps. If it is in use, an "H" will appear in the corner of your screen instead of "3G".

HSUPA

HSUPA stands for High Speed Upload Packet Access, and provides higher upload speed than provided by standard W-CDMA (384kbps). The PSVita does support 5.76Mbps HSUPA. Similar to HSDPA, an "H" will appear in the corner of your screen if you are using HSUPA.

Wi-Fi



The PSVita supports 802.11b/g/n. One minor problem is that it does not support unicode characters for SSID (Service Set Identifier). The SSID is the public name of the wireless network you are connecting to. As for security, it supports the common WEP, WPA-PSK, and WPA2-PSK security protocols. Simple security setup standards are also supported like WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) and AOSS (AirStation One-Touch Secure System). AOSS is only for connecting to Buffalo Technology wireless stations. If you are using Wi-Fi, it will override cellular connections, thus the Wi-Fi symbol will replace any previous "H", "3G", or "2G" symbol.

Bluetooth

The first classic PSP Go supports Bluetooth 3.0 only.
The PSVita supports Bluetooth 2.1.

All the PSVita models support Class 2 Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate). Class 2 has a maximum range of 10 meters. The EDR allows a faster data rate of 3Mbit/s as opposed to the original Bluetooth 1.2 speed of 1Mbit/s. Bluetooth transmits and receives data in the 2.4 - 2.4835 GHz microwave radio frequency spectrum. This frequency is similar to microwave ovens (2.45GHz) and Wi-Fi 802.11b/g (2.45 GHz).



Bluetooth Profiles

Bluetooth Profiles basically define what Bluetooth devices can connect to a device using Bluetooth. Many profiles can be added or removed via software, but some have hardware dependencies the prevent easy addition. Unfortunately, Sony decided to only support a small subset of available Bluetooth Profiles. Here are the supported Bluetooth Profiles for a current firmware version.
NameBluetooth ProfilePSVita ModelsPSVita ModelsPSVita Models
HFP (1.5)Hands-Free ProfilePSVita (all)
PBAPPhone Book Access ProfilePSVita (all)
A2DPAdvanced Audio Distribution ProfilePSVitaPSVitaPSVita (all)
AVRCPAudio/Video Remote Control ProfilePSVitaPSVitaPSVita (all)
PANPersonal Area Network ProfilePSVitaPSVitaPSVita (all)
HIDHuman Interface Device (Keyboard Only)PSVitaPSVitaPSVita (all)

HID allows keyboard, mouse, and joystick support. For some devices, you are not able to connect any bluetooth keyboards, mouse, nor joystick because of the lack of HID Bluetooth Profile.

A2DP stands for Advanced Audio Distribution Profile, and the main advantage it provides is the ability to stream stereo (2-channel) audio wirelessly to your Bluetooth headset.

Location Services

The PSVita has many ways to obtain your location. There are three major ways the PSVita gets your location: Satellite GPS, Cell Tower Triangulation, and WPS. If Location Service is in effect, your Maps app will indicate your location. Note that the PSVita Wi-Fi only does not have GPS (unlike the PSVita 3G version).

GPS

The PSVita 3G has assisted GPS. A-GPS allows obtaining your location via reading the multiple GPS semisynchronous satellites signals broadcasted in 1.57542 GHz.

Satellite GPS

In regular GPS (unencrypted civilian L1 1.57542 GHz signal), reading and calculating your location takes time (getting good data lock on a minimum of 3 satellites and calculating your position takes about two minutes and can last up to five minutes for all satellites). The PSVita reads the C/A-code (Coarse Acquisition) GPS data from the satellites to get your position. Note that the PSVita can not read nor use the more accurate encrypted P-code (Precise) GPS data broadcasted on L1 (1.57542 GHz) and L2 (1.22760 GHz). You normally must have a clear view of the sky to get the satellite signal (sometimes the satellites are in the sky on the horizon, sometimes above you).
GPS in Maps
To ensure you are using satellite GPS, you can take out your SIM card (turn off 3G as well), turn off Wi-Fi. Then turn off and on your PSVita, and go into Maps app. After about two minutes you should get your first satellite signal. About every 100 seconds after, you should pickup more satellite data, which will make your location more accurate. If you lose a satellite, it should make your location less accurate. The most accurate positioning can probably put you within the area of a tiny house. On average, your location is within the area of an apartment complex.

Note that for this example, since you don't have any cell signals or Wi-Fi at this point, you can't download map data. So to test satellite GPS, you should use a cache of the map data already downloaded for the area you are trying out, which requires that you pan around many city blocks on all the different zoom levels before turning off Wi-Fi (and/or removing your SIM card).

Cell Tower Triangulation

The PSVita also supports Cell tower triangulation assisted positioning. All cell tower locations are known precisely, so if your PSVita is communicating with one (in 3G), you can pinpoint your location to roughly 1500 meters. Normally, you can detect 2, 3, or more towers, which you can use triangulation to pinpoint your position fairly quickly (fixed towers don't move around, so first rough location can be gotten and calculated in 10 seconds or less). Most assisted GPS use data from cell tower locations. This calculated data is most times less precise than waiting for satellite data.

Cell Triangulation in Maps
To test out cell tower triangulation in Maps app, simply turn off Wi-Fi and stay indoors (roof over your head) away from all windows. Make sure Location Services is ON. Turn off and on your PSVita and go into Map apps. You should get a position in less than 20 seconds within an area covering about a city block (accurate to about the area of 30 apartment complexes). It is usually not very accurate with your location. Your position can move around (sometimes long distances two miles away, so zoom out) and get more or less accurate depending on which cell towers are picked up by your PSVita. On worse cases, with only one cell tower, you may end up with a reading of accuracy covering a whole town (especially deep inside thick walls). Once you move outside with a clear view of the sky, GPS accuracy should show up about two minutes later when satellite GPS is picked up (making your location accuracy more precise). Note that the positioning of the GPS alone is different from GPS + 3G tower triangulation (but not by much).

WPS

If you are using a Wi-Fi access point, the PSVita can get your general position by getting the location of the actual Wi-Fi hotspot. The technology used here is called Wi-Fi Positioning System. It is basically a database (owned by Skyhooks company in XMB firmware lower than 3.2) that stores the MAC of the Wi-Fi access point you are connected to and links this MAC to a location. The location is actually entered by Skyhook company's cars going around all the roads searching for Wi-Fi signals. People can also input their Wi-Fi access point's location using the company website. Most Wi-Fi signals only work within 20 meters (with walls) to 200 meters (no obstacles), so your positioning is not too bad (but also dependent on whether the location was entered into the database correctly). The location can be wrong if the Wi-Fi equipment was moved from one area to another without updating the Skyhook database.

WPS in Maps

To test out WPS, simply remove your SIM card (and turn off 3G), turn on Wi-Fi and Location Services. Find an access point, and connect to it. Go into Maps app. Note that because the database is not updated frequently, and sometimes errors on wrong user input, wrongful results often (especially if the access point was recently moved from another location).

FM Receiver

The PSVita does not have a built-in FM Receiver chip. If yes, it can technically be possible for these devices to listen to FM radio (88MHz - 108MHz).

PSVita Radiation

All cellphones (and the PSVita 3G), in order to communicate with cell towers, must transmit a very powerful radio frequency (RF). Because the cell towers on average can cover thousands of meters, the cellphone must be able to transmit back the same distance. In comparison with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi that cover short distances (average 10 meters and 100 meters, respectively), a cellphone needs more power output to reach long distance towers. The FCC (Federal Communication Commission) sets a limit of 1.6 watts per kilogram of SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) for cellphone radiation. Your cellphone must not expose you beyond this limit. Here is the span of radiation for the different iPhones (includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth), but because the PSVita is not next to your head, it should be way lower.

The iPhone "2G" has a SAR of .973 W/kg.
The iPhone 3G has a SAR of 0.24-1.39 W/kg.
The iPhone 3GS has a SAR of 0.52-1.19 W/kg.

Here is a breakdown of two cellular 3G bands (1850 MHz and 1900 MHz) and Wi-Fi/Bluetooth radiation affecting the head and body:
iPhone Model824-849MHz Head824-849MHz Body1850-1910MHz Head1850-1910MHz Body2400-2483.5MHz Head2400-2483.5MHz Body
iPhone 3G0.506 W/kg1.03 W/kg1.38 W/kg0.521 W/kg0.779 W/kg0.088 W/kg
iPhone 3GS0.57 W/kg0.67 W/kg1.19 W/kg0.33 W/kg0.52 W/kg0.06 W/kg

Note that using the 850 MHz band of cellular 3G gives you half as much radiation as the 1900 MHz band. Also note that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth using lower power (but at higher average 2450 MHz) has less radiation than the higher power cellular but lower average 1900 MHz band. It is said that one SECOND of the higher power cellphone radiation equals to 7 hours of radiation sitting in the middle of a Wi-Fi hotspot. This indicates that low-power and low-frequency technology produces less radiation.

It is unfortunate that in order to communicate, the PSVita must be placed next to your ear (right next to your brain). For those who use laptops, it is also unfortunate that your lap is right next to your genitals (serious problem for those who tether a cellphone or use wi-fi). These two places happen to be delicate areas where exposure to radiation can get you brain cancer and genetic mutations of offsprings.

Although lower in power, your proximity to a device constantly emitting Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (in order to keep a connection) is not too good for your body either. It also happens that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi transmits on the same radio frequency as microwave ovens (2.45 GHz). Microwave ovens basically works by causing water molecules to vibrate, and too much vibration of unknown molecules in our brain can cause certain important cells to become cancerous, or cause mutations in the DNA structure of our sperm or ovary. So next time you talk for too long on the PSVita remember you are vibrating unknown molecules in your brain for the duration of your call.

One trend happening nowadays is to have fewer and fewer powerful towers, and merging the technology into a super tower (like WiMAX), which can cover many miles. The radiation levels to send a signal back to a tower many miles away would probably cause major health problems for many people, especially if everyone carried a device. Similarly, a satellite phone is out of the question because it requires a lot of power to send a signal to an orbiting satellite.


Programming on the PSVita


One of the most interesting things about the PSVita is that it allows you to install a separate operating system on the internal flash.

Programming on the PSVita using the official Sony PSVita SDK

In order to make programs on the PSVita "officially" you need to purchase a Sony development computer and use the PSVita SDK that only runs correctly on that computer. There are yearly costs to be registered to develop on the platform, and you must be familiar with their specific APIs. One of the benefits of having a mobile phone with a powerful processor is the ability to use it as a replacement for the desktop personal computer. However, there is one ability that a mobile device must be able to achieve in order to be self-sufficient, and that is the ability to create and compile programs for itself without dependent on another machine. This is not yet possible with the PSVita, as not all the tools have been ported to run on the PSVita's ARM processor.


The Future

The PSVita is picking up the pieces where the iPhone and the PS3 have neglected to implement. Although the PSVita concentrates more on the mobility and touch-like capabilities of casual software, it lacks the high-definition gaming output of the PS3 (no Full HDTV I believe), and has worse graphical resolution than the iPhone 4 for a mobile device. Since the PSVita LCD screen is not even 1920x1080p, nor has 1080p HDTV output (nor 1080p HD projection glasses output) already renders it yesterday's technology (unless they get mini-hdmi in it before release).

Some forward looking features would have been nice on the PSVita, like remote battery charging without wires, external temperature sensor (for scientific related games and apps), and lastly a fixed ip solution so you can host webservers and other content right on your phone (not to mention cheaper 3G or 4G pricing). Another forward thinking feature would be to include ability for daisy-chaining multiple external devices to the PSVita (like how USB hubs work for the PC).

If the PSVita is compared to an organism (looking forward into the future, most devices with a CPU will become sentient), it would have three of the five senses that we have:

It can also generate them:

Missing are smell and taste. The PSVita, however, is able to do something we are not able to: receiving (and generating) frequencies other than light wavelength (on the OLED), which allows it to communicate with other devices (Cellular 3G, GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc). Besides the missing AM/FM/TV wavelengths, another nice addition would be infrared wavelength to control televisions, home media centers, and using it to see in the dark. Variable RF generation would also allow controlling car doors, garage doors, and other similar devices. High energy frequencies like X-Rays and microwaving food are not a priority (even if the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth share the same microwave oven frequency). However, the iphone makes up for some of it by having "sixth" (or more) senses like gravity detection using accelerometer (many animals like cats can quickly detect which way is down), and magnetism detection using a digital compass (some animals align their bodies north-south during grazing). Extending this comparison, we can see that the PSVita can be improved by adding an atmospheric barometric pressure sensor or altimeter (some birds have this ability), which allows hikers or pilots to determine altitude. Make the PSVita waterproof, and then add a bathymeter (whales have this ability) to allow divers to determine their water depth. The ability to detect temperature (most animals can feel heat and cold) would also be extremely useful as a companion to the temperature and weather app.

So can the PSVita be the ultimate device of the future? Perhaps, but the many things above should be considered to meet the demands of future technology aware consumers. Perhaps the future PSVita will use HSPA+ for faster 3G, or PSP3 using LTE (Long Term Evolution) for 4G speeds, but the concern of RF radiation may affect future directions of wireless technology. Perhaps more numerous lower power (and lower frequency) transmitters rather than a few powerful cell towers (similar to the high radiation WiMAX towers that can cover many miles) will be healthier. Using VoIP over extremely low-power low-frequency technology (FM? 88 MHz - 108 MHz) is a possibility. Maybe the future PSP3 will allow each connected phone to help transmit data for other PSP3 or mobile devices, since almost everyone will be carrying one anyways (second-hand radiation will probably be as important as second-hand smoke). Underlying technology used by TOR would come in handy in these types of dynamic nodes. Besides, the longer the distance and the higher frequency the phone needs to transmit equates to lower battery life. Perhaps in the future, all devices will have remote charging, so that wherever you go your device is always powered (or charging) by a local power emitter that can charge your PSVita remotely without wires.

Probably the most negative aspect of mobile devices, like the PSVita, is that you need to keep your head stooped low over a long period of time viewing a tiny screen in order to finish a game. Over a long period of time, this may cause slipped discs and neck strain and injury. This is why HD projection glasses output (to get HDTV right in front of your eyes) is needed. How this is implemented, 2D or 3D, either right out of the device to a wall, or something you wear in front of your eyes (transparent or not), does not matter. In addition, for it to be the ultimate mobile device you must be able to take it on the go and plug into a HDTV when at home to take advantage of existing large screen and hi-def audio equipment (unless it is meant for total 3D immersion where you wear the display itself). A powerful device must be able to communicate with powerful equipment.

Last but not least, is the problem of the inability to upgrade the devices. Even many notebook computers allow swapping out harddrive, RAM chips, and even the CPU these days. With Sony releasing better and better versions of each device each year, the closed architecture of the system makes for some expensive upgrading (in other words, you got to buy a whole new device). Perhaps binary compatibility of the software running on the ARM CPU is what is driving the sales, and maybe the next generation PSVitas can learn from the expansion card architecture of PCs, and introduce upgradable internal components (CPU, GPU, RAM, and Flash size for example) so devices can last a minimum of 6 years (the standard on consoles).

Common PSVita Problems

Although the PSVita is heading in the right direction, there are still a few things that are problematic with the device. One of the main complaints has to do with its lack of a battery cover so you can easily change batteries. Another is the lack of vibration support to feedback.


Super Secrets


While the PSVita is off:
Press and hold the Power Button for two seconds and release: Turn on the PSVita.
Press and hold the Power Button, PS Button, and R (shoulder) button at the same time for 5 seconds: Enter Recovery Mode.

While the PSVita is on (in Running Mode):
Press and quickly release the Power Button: Put PSVita into Standby mode.
Press and hold the Power Button for three seconds and release: Turn off the PSVita (swipe to power off).
Press and hold the PS Button for two seconds and release: A panel pops up allowing you to change brightness, music volume, disable mic, and audio chat settings.
Press and hold the Power Button for 10 seconds and release: Force the PSVita to power off immediately.
Press PS Button and Start Button together and quickly release: Take a picture of the current PSVita screen and place in Photos collection.

While the PSvita is on (in Standby Mode):
Press and quickly release the Power Button or PS Button: Put PSVita into Running mode.



In Settings -> System -> System Information menu, press and hold together L (shoulder), R (shoulder), Left, and Square buttons for more than five seconds, release and immediately press Start button once. If done correctly, you can now scroll down and see more information about your PS Vita. Following is a comparison of the differences between these extra parameters in two different firmware versions:
Firmware 1.51Firmware 1.52
  • release: 0x01510021
  • build: CEX
  • security-repository-path: release_branches/release_01.510
  • security-revision: 5104
  • sys-repository-path: release_branches/release_01.510
  • sys-revision: 61761
  • sdk-internal-build-number: 76483
  • vsh-repository-path: release_branches/release_01.510
  • vsh-revision: 83588
  • vsh-build-number: 399396
  • Product Code: CEX_E12
  • Settings format Version:001.500.61
  • release: 0x01520011
  • build: CEX
  • security-repository-path: release_branches/release_01.520
  • security-revision: 5135
  • sys-repository-path: release_branches/release_01.520
  • sys-revision: 62515
  • sdk-internal-build-number: 77206
  • vsh-repository-path: release_branches/release_01.520
  • vsh-revision: 84399
  • vsh-build-number: 405413
  • Product Code: CEX_E12
  • Settings format Version:001.500.61




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