Can you believe this? That's not the PSP, that's the next PSP. And not the next PSPgo
. Are you still with us? We hope so. Sony's PSPgo was more of an experiment than anything else. It relied solely on digital downloads, not accepting UMDs or physical discs of any kind. It was a drastic shift in approach for the company's handheld business, and they apparently learned a thing or two from it: physical media is still useful, and still demanded.
The next-generation PSP
, codenamed the NGP for now, was introduced today in Tokyo, Japan. The company announced that it wouldn't actually be on sale until the holiday season of 2011, so there's still a very long wait before anyone will be buying one at their nearby GameStop. The screen size has increased from 4" on the PSP to 5" on this with, with an OLED panel being the technology in use. There's also a multi-touch pad on the rear, dual analog sticks, two cameras (front and rear), software titles on small, dedicated flash drives, and integrated Wi-Fi and 3G. Those last two are very interesting.
First, there has never been a gaming handheld to ship with 3G built-in. The iPhone is obviously a gaming product with 3G, but it's primarily a cellphone. Having 3G built directly into a gaming handheld could very well change the entire way of thinking when it comes to multi-player gaming on portable machines. Also, games will be distributed on small flash cards? Instead of UMDs? That means that Sony will soon have three portable handheld gaming machines on the market, with all three using different gaming formats. That's certainly an interesting way to do business.
Other specifications include three motion sensors (gyroscope, accelerometer and electronic compass), access to the PlayStation Network and support for playing PSP games PSone classics and other multi-media from the PlayStation Store. The technical side is equally, if not more, impressive. There's a quad-core ARM Cortex A9 CPU, SGX543MP4+ quad-core GPU, built-in GPS, and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR.
No estimated price has been released, but most are rumbling about a figure near $300 or so. That would make sense given the history of portable gaming handhelds, but remember, Sony did launch the PS3 at a price well above most estimates. We'll see in Q4!
SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES ITS NEXT GENERATION PORTABLE ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM
Ultimate Portable Entertainment System Makes Its Debut This Year,
Further Expanding the PlayStation® Business in the Portable Gaming Market
Tokyo, January 27, 2011– Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) today announced its next generation portable entertainment system (codename: NGP), which delivers the ultimate portable entertainment experience. NGP will make its debut at the end of the year 2011.
NGP is designed to offer unparalleled interactive entertainment that is only possible on PlayStation®. This new system offers a revolutionary combination of rich gaming and social connectivity within a real world context, made possible by leveraging SCE's experience from both PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) and PlayStation®3 (PS3®) entertainment systems.
Deep and immersive gaming is at the core of PlayStation's DNA, and NGP is the latest embodiment of this vision. By having both Wi-Fi and 3G network connectivity, together with various applications, NGP will enable infinite possibilities for users to "encounter," "connect," "discover," "share" and "play" with friends wherever they are. Within the device are a range of features that provide a genuinely cutting-edge, next generation ultimate portable entertainment experience.
·Stunning OLED and Revolutionary User Interface
NGP incorporates a beautiful multi-touch 5-inch organic light emitting display (OLED) as the front display. A high-performance CPU / GPU combined with OLED enables rich, visually striking graphics never seen before on a portable entertainment system, for both games and other digital entertainment content. The new system also incorporates a unique multi-touch pad on the rear, and together with the front touch display, NGP offers new game play allowing users to interact directly with games in three dimension-like motion, through "touch, grab, trace, push and pull" moves of the fingers.
·Super Oval Design and Dual Analog Sticks
While succeeding the basic design philosophy of PSP, NGP adopts the Super Oval Design form factor, created to fit comfortably in users' hands. For the first time, a portable entertainment system will feature two analog sticks, which enable a wider range of game genres to be brought into the portable experience.
Every game title for NGP will be provided with a space called "LiveArea™" where users can share the fun and excitement with other players. Users will have access to the latest information of games provided from SCE and 3rd party developers and publishers through PlayStation®Network. Additionally, NGP users will be able to view an "Activity" log that is constantly updated with accomplishments from users who are playing the same game, which in turn can trigger active real-time communication among users.
SCE will also provide location-based services on NGP as part of the basic features utilizing PlayStation Network. The new application called "Near," developed specifically for this service and the network, will be pre-installed in the system to let users find out what their friends in the vicinity are playing now or what they were playing recently. Users can meet their friends and new players virtually, regardless of what games they are playing, simply by sharing their game information across different dimensions of time and distance.
·New Game Medium
NGP adopts a new game medium, a small flash memory based card, dedicated for NGP software titles. Taking advantage of the flash memory feature, this innovative card can store the full software titles plus add-on game content or the game save data directly on to the card. By adopting flash memory based card, SCE will be able to provide game cards with higher capacity in the future, allowing developers to store more game data to deliver rich and immersive games.
NGP will also come equipped with two cameras on its front and rear, as well as three motion sensors, gyroscope, accelerometer and electronic compass, all of which are designed to enable users to enjoy the world of entertainment that is linked with real life experiences.
PlayStation®Suite (PS Suite), announced today, will also closely coordinate with NGP. The newly developed and released game content for Android™ based portable devices can also be enjoyed on NGP. As a result, users will have access to not only the most leading-edge content, but also some of the more casual experiences that typify the mobile market place.
SCE will vigorously promote NGP towards the launch as the next generation portable entertainment platform and deploy various measures to further expand the portable gaming market.