iPod touch (6th generation) vs. PS Vita
When they're both sitting in landscape like you see above, the Vita comes out 44 percent taller, 50 percent longer and 146 percent thicker than the iPod touch.
The iPod touch is 60 percent lighter than the Vita.
We don't have any big problems with the Vita's build, but its plastic construction is cheaper-feeling than the iPod touch's aluminum unibody casing.
If you live in the US, you're likely to only see the black Vita Slim, but several other colors released in other markets.
The Vita gives you a 56 percent bigger screen.
The iPod touch, however, has a 48 percent sharper screen (based on pixel density).
This second-generation (PCH-2000) PS Vita saw a drop in screen quality from the original (PCH-1000) Vita, by switching from an AMOLED panel to IPS.
Like iPhones and iPads, the iPod touch relies exclusively on multitouch input. The Vita has a touch screen as well (two actually, counting the touchpad on its backside), but that takes a backseat to its physical controls.
This is one of the Vita's biggest advantages for gamers. It gives you two analog sticks, a D-pad, four action buttons and two shoulder buttons.
The only problem (at least when it comes to streaming PS3 or PS4 games) is that the Vita has no secondary shoulder or L3/R3 buttons, making you use the touchscreen and back-facing touchpad as substitutes.
The iPod touch has no physical controls, so for gaming you're stuck with taps and swipes on the touchscreen – hardly a replacement for the Vita's physical controls. You can, however, buy accessories that give the iPod touch console-style controls, but most of its games were designed for touch screens, so that only helps so much.
Sony estimates 4-6 hours gaming time for the Vita, while Apple doesn't provide any gaming estimates for the iPod touch.
If you're using the Vita for Remote Play or cloud gaming instead of native games, it will last even longer than this 4-6 hour estimate.
The iPod touch uses Apple's reversible Lightning standard, while the 2nd-gen Vita charges with microUSB cables.
When the Vita launched, it was considered a powerful system, but in 2015 the iPod touch has much more raw horsepower.
Both portables have PowerVR GPUs, but the Vita's is dated compared to the iPod touch's.
The iPod touch doubles the Vita's 512 MB of RAM, though Sony's portable also adds 128 MB of VRAM.
The iPod touch ships in four different internal storage options. The Vita has a mere 1 GB.
Without much help in internal storage, Vita owners need to add a proprietary Sony memory card to their purchase.
The above memory card prices are what you'll see in Amazon's US storefront at the time of publication.
Since the Vita uses physical game cards (in addition to digital downloads), you can save some money by buying used games.
A few years ago, OnLive was trying to get its cloud gaming service approved for the App Store. That never happened, leaving iOS devices without any cloud gaming options.
Earlier this year, though, Sony acquired what was left of OnLive (its patents), for its PlayStation Now cloud gaming service, which lets Vita owners play a variety of PS3 games – over the Internet – on their portable.
A solid Wi-Fi connection and a monthly fee gets you unlimited access to a big collection of games, including the first three Uncharted games, The Last of Us and Batman: Arkham City.
If you own a PS4, you can play all of your console's games on the Vita – either on the same Wi-Fi network or over the Internet. The only caveat is that you'll need to use the Vita's back touchpad for some of the buttons (L2/R2 and L3/R3) – a limitation that's more annoying in some games than others.
The original Vita was sold in a 3G option, but not the Slim. Apple has never made a cellular-enabled iPod touch.
As the more multipurpose device, the iPod touch has a very good camera on its backside. The Vita's cameras are there only for in-game enhancements and aren't nearly good enough for photography.
If you're buying a device strictly for gaming, then this could be your most important category.
The iOS App Store offers many more games than Sony's PlayStation Store, but iOS gaming leans towards casual, freemium fare. If you just want something to distract you on the train or during a flight, perhaps that will fit the bill perfectly.
In fairness, though, there are also some terrific console ports in the App Store, including the original Bioshock, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Telltale's The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones series.
The Vita's disappointing sales have gone hand-in-hand with a less-than stellar game library, but it does provide more of a "gamers' games" experience. You get some great native titles like LittleBigPlanet, Rayman Origins/Legends and Uncharted: Golden Abyss, as well as HD remakes of decade-old franchises like Metal Gear Solid, God of War, Sly Cooper, Jak and Daxter and Ratchet and Clank.
You can also buy digital versions of PSP games from the PS Store.
Wondering why the iPod touch has such a big raw horsepower advantage? Well, Apple just updated it last month, while the Vita is rocking nearly four-year-old internals.
Both devices start at US$200. Just remember that you'll also need to buy a memory card to go with the Vita (if you plan on downloading many games, then we recommend at least 16 GB). Right now, though, your Vita purchase gets you a bundle that also includes Borderlands 2 and an 8 GB memory card.