Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sony Unveils New NGP Portable System In Japan (Or: Welcome...The Artist Formerly Known as PSP2)

In possibly the WORST kept secret in an industry known for more leaks than the Titanic crossed with an incontinent elephant, Sony's next-generation successor to the PSP has finally been given it's official public unveiling at a press event in Tokyo. Codenamed NGP (Next Generation Portable), the new unit is sleeker than the current model and comes packed to the digital gills with a bunch of expected and unexpected features and functionality. The new handheld will feature dual analog controls (along with the standard D-pad and PlayStation keys), front and rear touch pads, Sixaxis motion control, a three-axis compass along with 3G network and Wi-Fi support.

In addition, while there's no UMD slot, there's a physical media slot that uses a dedicated card storage format, front and rear cameras and amazingly, a 5 inch OLED display that's four times the resolution of the PSP (go, Sony!). According to Sony, the new system is due for release during this Christmas holiday season - start saving those pennies, folks!

More info (and yes, SPECS) below the jump.

Yes, it's pretty much an all-in-one wonder device that's set to compete with the iOS, Android and other smartphones. Well... minus the phone part, as Sony also revealed its phone and tablet strategy at the event as well. According to reports, The PlayStation Suite is a new strategy that will bring the worldwide branding onto mobile handsets with a big focus on Android-based smartphones and tablets. Additionally, a "PlayStation Certified" service is being enabled that will allow indie and other developers to insure their projects meet Sony's standards.

"We envision PS Suite as an initiative that is essential to the world of portable entertainment," noted Sony president, Kaz Hirai. PlayStation Suite content will be available before the end of the year featuring dedicated PlayStation Store for Android devices.

As for NGP games, it's Sony, so expect some familiar first-party titles and characters to make appearances. CONFIRMED are entries in the popular Hot Shots Golf, Killzone, Resistance, WipeOut franchises. According to a few sources, Kojima Productions is working on a Metal Gear Solid 4 port (using assets from the PS3 original), Sega has a Yakuza title in the works, Capcom has announced a download version of Monster Hunter 3 along with a demo version of Lost Planet and yes, both Dynasty Warriors and Call of Duty games will be winging their way to the new handheld.

A list of tentative titles discussed at the event is below followed by those all-important tech specs:
  • Killzone
  • Uncharted
  • WipEout
  • LittleBigPlanet
  • Resistance
  • Little Deviants
  • Hot Shots Golf
  • Reality Fighters
  • Gravity Daze
  • Smart As
  • Broken
  • Hustle Kings
  • Call of Duty
Key NGP features:

* Multi-touch 5-inch organic light emitting display (OLED) as the front display

* Multi-touch pad on the rear of the device
* Dual analog sticks
* Two cameras (front and rear)

* Software titles on small, dedicated flash memory-based cards
* Three motion sensors, gyroscope, accelerometer and electronic compass

* Wi-Fi and 3G network connectivity

* PlayStation Network access, including ““LiveArea™”, “Near” and “Activity” log features Trophy Support
* NGP will be able to play PSP titles, minis, PS one classics, video and comics from the PlayStation Store.

Technical specs:
CPU ARM® Cortex™-A9 core (4 core)


External Dimensions Approx. 182.0 x 18.6 x 83.5mm (width x height x depth) (tentative, excludes largest projection)

(Touch screen)
5 inches (16:9), 960 x 544, Approx. 16 million colors, OLED
Multi touch screen (capacitive type)

Rear touch pad 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 stick, Left stick
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)

More NGP images to come shortly...

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