PSvita vs 3DS
As with any comparison between 2 gaming machines there are many factors at play. For many people the key component is graphics. Followed by gameplay, sound and then the rest. I'll start with graphics and then run down everything else afterwards.
So who is the victor in the graphics battle, well the PSvita beats the 3DS hands down when it comes to graphics in its purest form. The screen is higher resolution and therefore had a higher pixel density meaning a cleaner image. Textures are handled better and frame rates tend to be better indeed. Games such as Uncharted: Golden Abyss truly push the Vita and a generation ahead of what's possible on 3DS. This is all due to the 4 core ARM CPU and GPU combined with 512mb ram and 128mb vram, this sounds boring but is key to what's on offer here.
Nintendos machine has a single core CPU and GPU and only 128mb ram and 4mb vram, a lot less than Vita and it must run 3D as well. This of course results in more limited game environments and graphics. The 3D abilities of the 3DS are however something of a boon and act a key selling point over Sonys far more powerful but so far less successful Vita system.
To truly appreciate the graphics difference and the effect of 3D you need to play the systems yourself. For my money the Vita pips it at present due to not everyone being able to use 3D without getting nausea, everyone can appreciate Sonys system in good health!
Winner = Vita
Next we move onto sound, both systems simply operate stereo sound and offer much the same quality, so there's really nothing in it here.
Winner = Draw
Gameplay is another point where both consoles have distinct advantages. The Vita has 2 analogue sticks as standard, a must for most modern games, although 3DS does have a crude add on for this. Vita has a capacitive touch screen (no stylus needed) and a capacitive rear touch panel, as well as the shoulder buttons and face buttons, it finishes by including motion control to good effect.
Nintendo has a resistive touch screen requiring a stylus or pressure to operate, includes 2 screens, shoulder buttons and the usual face buttons. A big failing is the single analogue stick which limits input and requires an add on for extra accuracy.
Winner = Draw - the second screen could make more a difference to some people than a rear touch pad and the analogue stick issue can be rectified with an addon.
Games is one area where Nintendo currently has Sony beaten right down, nintendo has sold 17m of their systems compared to 2m for Vita. Developers have jumped right in with 3DS although Vita should catch up eventually. Right now the big names such as mario kart and pilot wings are all on board for Nintendo as well as massive third party support, Sony has its big names but needs more third party support at present.
As for other features both machines have average Internet explorers and media playback abilities, with Vitas being so far a little more accomplished. Vita has Facebook and Twitter apps, which are nice and easy to use, as well as Flickr and Sonys own music unlimited app. The 3DS doesn't have these but they can be accessed through the browser if desired. Nintendo has many fun apps such as streetpass and spot pass, allowing users consoles to connect when they pass and share things like Mii data and download content from WiFi. Nintendo are starting to introduce downloadable 3D videos and movies and are also creating an Ebook reader for release later. One major bonus for 3DS users are the 3D camera abilities of the system, meaning 3D pics and movies can be shot and watched on the system, something it's likely the Vita will never do. At present Sonys media offerings for music and movies are far ahead of what Nintendo offer, including an unlimited consumption subscription service.
Winner = Draw
So in closing its very hard to choose one console over another, I'll say this, if you want better graphics and a more traditional games system including better controls, go for the Vita. If you want the system with more games and a more "fun" aura' including 3D, go for the 3DS.
Or get both!
Don't forget to check my blog out @ http://past-present-future-games-tech.blogspot.co.uk/ as well.