Sony: Bigger Screen For The Vita Was Considered


During the design process of the Playstation Vita at Sony’s Corporate Design Centre in Tokyo, The head of the design team, Takashi Sogabe has confirmed that through brainstorming meetings, they considered a bigger screen that included the main buttons before the final design for the handheld was decided on.

The Official European Playstation Blog had the chance to travel to Sony’s design centre in Japan and interview 27 year veteran head designer, Sogabe who has worked on various successful Sony products in the past including the Walkman, VAIO notebooks and also the newer slim Playstation 3 and quiz him about the design process of the Vita and how they decided on how the finished product would look.

PS.Blog: A lot of people seem impressed by the five inch OLED screen on PlayStation Vita. How did you decide on that particular size?

Tokashi Sogabe: When we first saw a prototype of the beautiful OLED screen we used on PS Vita, 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 maximise the same impact that we felt when we first saw it.

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking bigger is better when it comes to screen size but it isn’t. There was a great deal of discussion and we even talked about using a 5.5 inch screen with all of the buttons included on it, but that had a negative impact on the operability of the device and the idea was abandoned.

Sogabe also talked about how he would have liked the Playstation Vita to be thinner as most designers do when developing a product but sometimes you just have to accept that it isn’t going to happen.

PSB: How do designers and engineers work together to ensure all aspects of the device, such as performance, form and comfort of use are all just right?

TS: There is always a battle between engineers and designers and I’m not just talking about PlayStation Vita when I say that – it is always there. To give you an example, I originally intended for the final machine to be thinner than it is now. From a designer’s point of view thinner is always better. However, the engineer has to cram all of the technology into that case and so they’re going to be fighting back on that point.

A designer is always looking to create that magical first impression aesthetically and an engineer’s job to bring the working device into reality; neither side wants to make any compromise whatsoever.

Also, it’s not just designers and engineers who have a say. When we started work on PS Vita, the shape we had in mind was very similar to the final product, but in the testing phase we tried many different designs, including a sliding system [similar to PSP go] and a clamshell. We settled on the final model after many discussions with the game development teams in Worldwide Studios.

The full interview with Sogabe can be found on the Official European Playstation Blog by clicking the link below.

Source: Official European Playstation Blog.

The Playstation Vita is released in North America and Europe on February 22nd.


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