It’s the announcement you’ve all been anticipating in another of Sony’s now infamous worst kept secrets: the belated unveiling of the PSP’s proper successor.
Announced during Sony’s top secret “PlayStation Meeting 2011″ in Japan this morning, Sony’s next endeavour into the portable platform has been codenamed NGP (Next Generation Portable), implying that they could be ditching the faltering PSP brand altogether.
Hit the jump for the all important features list!
- “Revolutionary interface” – dubbed as LiveArea, NGP’s new touch screen will replace the XMB with a home screen that contains access to friends, messaging, the PS Store, Trophies, internet browser and a host of other applications including ‘Near’, an application that, worryingly, tracks your location and tells you where you’ve been
- The rear of the console will also have a touch pad
- Dual analogue sticks, at long last
- Games will now be stored on flash-based memory cards, allowing Sony to provide higher capacity cards for future games development. Good riddance UMD, you won’t be missed.
- Also announced today, PlayStation Suite software will initially emulate PS One games for Android devices and also be compatible with NGP
Here is the official hardware specification from Sony:
- CPU: ARM Cortex-A9 core (4 core)
- GPU: SGX543MP4+
- External Dimensions: Approx. 182.0 x 18.6 x 83.5mm (width x height x depth) (tentative, excludes largest projection)
- Screen: 5 inches (16:9), 960 x 544, Approx. 16 million colors, OLED
- Touchscreen: Multi-touch screen (capacitive type)
- Rear touchpad: Multi-touch pad (capacitive type)
- Cameras: Front camera; rear camera
- Sound: Built-in stereo speakers; built-in microphone
- Sensors: Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer); three-axis electronic compass
- Location: Built-in GPS; Wi-Fi location service support
- Keys/Switches: PS button; power button; directional buttons (Up/Down/Right/Left); action buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square); shoulder buttons (Right/Left); right and left sticks; Start button; Select button; volume buttons (+/-)
- Wireless communications: Mobile network connectivity (3G); IEEE 802.11b/g/n (n = 1×1) (Wi-Fi) (Infrastructure mode/Ad-hoc mode); Bluetooth 2.1+EDR (A2DP/AVRCP/HSP)
Sony also showed off a number of new and familiar game franchises that will be coming to the platform:
- Call of Duty
- Gravity Daze
- Hot Shots Golf
- Hustle Kings
- Little Deviants
- Reality Fighters
- Smart As
Portable Uncharted? Count me in.
Developers have been quick to demonstrate NGP’s colossal capabilities by showing the hardware running the likes of Lost Planet 2, Yakuza, and Metal Gear Solid 4. It all points to the previous early indications that the system will be comparable to that of the PS3, but how much it will actually cost is a factor that remains undisclosed. Still, only a few months until E3, right?
Looking at the design, NGP clearly hasn’t strayed too far from the established PSP framework, but it’s still looking super slick and the additional features such as the dual analogue sticks (that should have been there in the first place) and rear touch pad are very welcome additions that raise intrigue for the prospect of future games. Let’s also not forget the twin cameras and motion sensors that show potential for future Apps akin to the PlayStation Move.
What are your initial reactions? Do you think it will suffer the same fate of the PSP? Does it have a hope in hell when Apple’s fashion accessories have suffocated the market and Nintendo’s revolutionary 3DS has been raising eyebrows? All I can say is that E3 should certainly be eventful for Sony this year.
Oh, and you’ll be able to get your grubby fingerprints all over it in late 2011 “this holiday season”, although it remains unclear if this is a worldwide date . It’s like 2005 all over again.
More shots and videos from the event are available on EnGadget.