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Sony lifts lid on Next Generation Portable console

Thu 27 Jan 2011 6:48am GMT / 1:48am EST / 10:48pm PST
HardwarePublishingDevelopment

PSP successor due for release this Christmas holiday

Sony Computer Entertainment

Sony Computer Entertainment is a Japanese videogame company specialising in a variety of areas in the...

playstation.com

Sony has unveiled the successor to the PSP, codenamed the Next Generation Portable.

The console boasts dual analogue sticks, front and rear touchpads, Sixaxis motion control, a three axis compass and 3G and wifi support.

It also features a physical media slot for a card format and the familiar Dpad and PlayStation buttons, a 5 inch OLED display claimed to be four times the resolution of the PSP and front and rear cameras.

The system is due for release during the Christmas holiday season this year, according to Sony.

"Our goal is to transform every aspect of your everyday life into entertainment," said Sony's Kaz Hirai during the PlayStation Meeting in Tokyo today.

1

Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida demonstrated a number of games for the system including Golf Next, Gravity Daze and Killzone, augmented reality software, and a title in the Uncharted series, highlighting the use of touchpads and motion control.

With a emphasis on social gaming and interactivity, the NGP's user interface allows for touch control to access games, apps and other features. A Live Area acts as a front-end for games, linking to the PS Store, and is likened to a combination of Xbox Live and Facebook features embedded on the system.

The hardware also supports location based applications, with Sony demonstrating in-built software Near, and augmented reality features using the onboard cameras and using sensors similar to those in the PlayStation Move.

The console will also use the recently unveiled PlayStation Suite, allowing interaction with other mobile devices.

2

Third-party support from the device has already been promised from Capcom, Activision, Tecmo Koei, Sega, Epic and Konami.

Sony also offered up the latest stats for the PlayStation Network, Hirai confirmed that 80 per cent of PlayStation3 consoles are connected to the internet, with 69 million registered PlayStation3 accounts, across 50 countries and 25 different currencies.

UPDATE: Sony has released the technical specifications for the NGP, which follow:

  • 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: (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

30 Comments

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,993 902 0.5
Hmmm... it's an all-in-one WONDER device, it seems. The "physical media" slot, I'll have to see up close and personal, as I've about 100+ games here on UMD currently NOT available at the PSN store...

Other than that, I'm kind of pleased.

Posted:3 years ago

#1

Craig Burkey
Software Engineer

148 105 0.7
Does it play PSP 1 games?

Posted:3 years ago

#2

Morris Kanyowa
Studying MA Games Art

5 1 0.2
yesss, two analogue sticks

very nice specs as well. and with UE3 mobile and stuff out now this might blow up. piracy will be a big issue too

no more drunken escapades I need to be good so that Father Christmas and his elves can make me one of these

cant wait to get a hands on

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morris Kanyowa on 27th January 2011 9:24am

Posted:3 years ago

#3

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

953 804 0.8
I wonder if Sony will follow Nintendo's example and release a handheld more expensive than their home console.

Posted:3 years ago

#4

James Prendergast
Research Chemist

730 410 0.6
I have to wonder on the price of this.... higher res OLED, two cameras, two touch-sensitive surfaces, 3G and GPS don't come cheap.... not cheap at all. I think people who were wary of the 3DS price will be wondering what SONY was thinking with this. Maybe £400 for the NGPSP?

Posted:3 years ago

#5
@James Will be pricy indeed, still tho, I can only dream of having it in my hands and play some MGS4 on the go ;)

Posted:3 years ago

#6

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,993 902 0.5
Of COURSE it's not going to be cheap (and therein lies the problem for some folks). As much as I love my games systems, all this convergence and the need to have this latest Swiss Army Knife of devices is going to be HELL on too many folks in this economy.

Granted, the hardcore and collectors will snap it up ASAP (if the US launch titles are all winners, pre-orders will be zippy, I predict), the celebrities who never play games will get theirs for free (Why? Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton, I want your NGP, damn you both to Hades!) and sure, the big sites that draw in the millions of users with their snarky comments and more clout than lil' ol Mii will also nab those gratis units and major hands-on time. As I'm back on the low end of the totem pole, I'll be content to hit a few Sony events and play the thing while I start scraping up whatever it is they want for it.

Of course, I'm NOT dumping my PSP Slim anytime soon... or after the NGP launches (and really, they'd best change that tentative naming or the curse of the Neo Geo Pocket will strike).

Posted:3 years ago

#7

Tim Wright
Managing Director

29 0 0.0
I'm hoping they've considered that the PSP and PSP Go were quite uncomfortable for many adult sized male hands? Cramp and 'numfum' being quite common even after only a few minutes use.

In fact a thriving 3rd party industry sprang up providing expander cases or control beds for just such an audience. It would be nice not to have to invest in those this time around though...

Posted:3 years ago

#8

Kingman Cheng
Illustrator and Animator

929 150 0.2
Well that's an interesting project name.

Looks like it'll be really expensive especially as they're still doing the 'everything in one' idea.
At this moment in time it doesn't look like a upcoming puchase for me.

Posted:3 years ago

#9

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,993 902 0.5
@Klaus: Only if the NGP costs MORE than the original model PS3 did will it be a bad deal. Remember, the current PS3 Slim is a scaled back model (larger HDD choices aside) with an intentionally lower MSRP than the original. So balancing the NGP against that is a tiny bit unfair. The Wii retailed for how much when it launched (I think it was $250 US here)? THAT'S your actual comparison point, not the current cost, if you want to really be fair.

Granted, you can always walk into a shop and say "HEY! I want to pay for the 3DS or NGP what the Wii or PS3 cost when it was first released!" and I'm sure some clerk will gladly take your money (somewhat confusedly, I might add...). Or worse, you can always buy either off ebay after a frantic bid war where you end up paying seven times the retail price because the seller, junkinator275 was jacking up the bids on his mom's PC in the other room... ;P

Posted:3 years ago

#10

James Boulton
Tools & Tech Coder

120 143 1.2
It appears to be a beefed up iPhone (more or less same CPU & GPU as 3GS but more cores and with GPS & touch control), but with two analogue sticks and no phone. And allegedly able to run Android apps (rumoured from other sources, although something to do with PlayStation Suite?).

If this is true (the Android part anyway), it will be a seriously handy crossover pad device. Although I would be amazed if the NGP ends up being open to all Android apps... but I would be very happy to see it!

Posted:3 years ago

#11

Patrick Williams
Medicine and Research

93 61 0.7
The 2 analogs ticks are nice but the PSP2 is not as pretty as some of the prototype designs suggested on other sides like 1up.com. Its unfortunate that Sony wants to distance itself from the PSP Go because it was a cute little machine. One thing that's always bothered me about my PSP was the shape / size.

Posted:3 years ago

#12

Ryan Locke
Lecturer in Media Design

45 6 0.1
gotta give it to them, thats a mean machine.

Sure its gonna land a hole in my pocket, have battery life of 5 minutes and turn my eyes into jelly, but...


I really want one.

Posted:3 years ago

#13

Michael Wiessmuller
Managing Director & Business Development

20 1 0.1
It's not a phone so I don't care. I got an iPhone and that's all I need on the road.

Posted:3 years ago

#14

David Spender
Lead Programmer

127 51 0.4
Obviously no optical... are we going to be downloading all the multi gigabyte triple-a games for this thing? How will portability between systems work? When games are .99 or so on the iPad, etc. I don't mind as much but when games are $40-$50 I want something with all the features of Steam (and even steam isn't exactly the optimal solution).
Otherwise, seems like a mean overpriced machine. I love portable gaming and I want one but I'm guessing $300 minimum for this thing.... probably north of $350 considering the ridiculous price of the 3DS.

Posted:3 years ago

#15

Richard Marsh
Sales Consultant

1 0 0.0
It's January. This is being launched, in Japan, for Christmas 2011. Maybe. I'm sure there will be massive delays and by the time this is in consumer hands it won't look nearly so hot. As much as I love my PS3 and had fun on the PSP a couple of years back I really think Sony could learn a lot from the way the Apple release products and get them out there straight away.

Posted:3 years ago

#16

Armando Marini
Product Development

16 0 0.0
I'm with Michael Wiessmuller on this one. If I have to tote this AND tote my phone I immediately start thinking about where to put it, do i need to take it, etc, etc, just like my current PSP which consequently is collecting dust in a drawer...somewhere in the house.

On the days I do decide I can be burdened with another device, I take my ipod for music. If I could play my console games on it while I'm away from home, then it could have some redeeming value. As it stands, the term albatross comes to mind.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Armando Marini on 27th January 2011 2:07pm

Posted:3 years ago

#17

Private
Industry

1,187 185 0.2
That`s some powerful hardware and sure not a cheap one either with those specs. What I find interesting is that most of the components used are also in mobile phones or that the PSP2 (I will not call it NGP, don`t like that name :) ) is using upgraded chips. I assume that should make it more easy for mobile phone developers to just port their games to the system. That would be less of fighting against mobile phones but rather have the possibility to bring the mobile phone games easy to the system and have a device somewhere in the middle. A device that is a pure gaming system, but features the mobile phone games.

Wonder if there will be connectivity between the PSP2 and the PS3 and use it as an extension or controller and use the touchscreen for PS3 games i.e. the hacking game in Mass Effect 2 per touchscreen instead of with a normal controller or in LBP to actually draw shapes when you want to create something instead of piecing different parts together to get the desired shape. Since I`m not a game designer I can only come up with such basic ideas, but sure some smarter people could think about really cool features if the connectivity would be possible.

Posted:3 years ago

#18
I want one...but I can't help but feel the price'll make the 3DS look like a calculator keychain by comparison....

Posted:3 years ago

#19
@Werner: The idea of using the NGP/PSP2 as an additional controller is very good one.
Reminds me a bit of the potential the old Dreamcast controller with its VMU had. I can think of something like having a game like MGS with a puzzle of hotwiring a terminal by dragging wires on the screen or typing an access code to a door displayed as a keypad on the touchscreen etc.
The missing R2/L2 buttons can be probably replaced by the touchpad on the back of the console.

Posted:3 years ago

#20

Abraham Tatester
Producer

70 47 0.7
Also agree with Michael W. I can't imagine why they decided to not give it phone capabilities.

I now have my phone and music player in one device. Who better than Sony to take it to the next level and finally achieve the holy trinity of phone/music player/gaming device? I'm not into portable gaming, but a phone-enabled, music playing PSP would probably get me to bite.

In fact, it seems to me that they could sell many, many more if they allowed people to rationalize its purchase as a more utilitarian device. But if they were to do that, they'd need to add 4G. 3G will be passé in another 12 months.

Posted:3 years ago

#21

Thiago Attianesi
Creative Director

59 2 0.0
Phone, computer or portable game? Have microphone and camera, skype works?

Posted:3 years ago

#22

Thiago Attianesi
Creative Director

59 2 0.0
Of this portable will born really interesting games. Strange and Creative will be hashtags here.

Posted:3 years ago

#23

Armando Marini
Product Development

16 0 0.0
Sure Thiago, you can add Skype to it as you can with the current PSP. But why add IP phone functionality post purchase through a third party instead of just straight up phone functionality?

It already has 3G (should have had 4g?) why not go the distance and make it a truly useful device that incorporates everything?

One question I have is memory? Will they ship it with 512meg? 2gig? 4gig? it doesn't really matter because this thing will need at least 16 gig to be useful, so add that cost to the base price.

Posted:3 years ago

#24

Private
Industry

1,187 185 0.2
It`s a Sony device so lets assume it supports memory stick for download games, apps music etc. The game medium from what I understand what they said would be a flash based storage device that let`s you save on it and put any DLC from that game onto it. If that`s the case it`s not 100% needed to have internal memory just to be able to use the system. They are going to make separate SKU`s (so far only confirmed that there will be a 3G SKU and one without it) so maybe they have a cheap one that has none or only a small amount of memory and some with a bigger one

Posted:3 years ago

#25

Josef Brett
Animator

296 0 0.0
Sounds like a beast. Lets hope it gets the support from developers and doesn't have the piracy problems of this PSP.

Let the new handheld wars begin!

Posted:3 years ago

#26

Mark Raymond
Gamer; Consumer; Blogger

40 0 0.0
Portable consoles are about delivering portable experiences. If Sony does not grasp this fact then they will have no chance. This goes for the devs, too. Just because you can put a game like MGS4 on a portable console doesn't mean you should.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Mark Raymond on 27th January 2011 10:56pm

Posted:3 years ago

#27

Tony Johns

520 12 0.0
If the new PSP does not get the support that it needs, then at least there will be many Japanese indie developers supporting a handheld format with amazing visual novels.

Please don't make this region locked...

Posted:3 years ago

#28

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,199 317 0.3
Just clicked that NGP stands for Next Gen Portable? Bad naming. Next gen sounds fine now but using the term next gen a couple of years into a console's life sounds really silly, it makes me cringe when people refer to the 5 year old 360 or 4 year old PS3 as "next" gen, when presumably they are as close or closer to the end of the cycle as the start, but Sony are purposefully including this in the name? I guess most people have better things to worry about than me.

Posted:3 years ago

#29

Robert Kelly

38 0 0.0
@ Andrew Goodchild: The NGP is just a codename for now. They might move away from the "PSP" branding as it didn't do very well in America.
I don't think it will be priced too bad, I feel it will be $250 -> $350 or £180 -> £250. They will make a loss but it's needed for market penetration as it doesn't have a 3D gimmick to market.
Anyways that's my 2 cents :)

Posted:3 years ago

#30

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