Sony confirms 2GB, 4GB NGP game cards

Handheld not as powerful as PS3 "because the battery would last five minutes"

Sony has confirmed the size of the proprietary memory cards used in the Next Generation Portable, revealing that games will come on cards with 2GB and 4GB capacities.

The two SKUs at retail could suggest that boxed games would sell for two different price points. A high end Next Generation Portable game will use 4GB of memory - compared to 9GB for an average PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 game, according to David Coombes, platform designer for SCEA.

The system will also support removable memory cards for downloadable content such as music and video, "and they will come in a variety of sizes, probably quite a bit bigger," offered Coombes.

Showing off a number of tech and game demos at GDC in San Francisco today, Coombes was not prepared to detail internal memory for the system, stating only that it would be closer to the PlayStation 3 in terms of RAM rather than the current-gen PSP.

The NGP itself will come in at least two different models, one supporting 3G services, the other just wi-fi. Interestingly, Coombes claimed that for location-based gaming and services, the wi-fi model would be a better solution in built-up areas where it can hook up to wi-fi hotspots.

"For the wi-fi models you can still do pretty accurate positioning. In urban areas that ends up being more accurate than GPS, because GPS needs to see the sky so inside a shopping mall it won't work, where wi-fi would," he said.

While some areas of the specialist press have reported that the NPG is comparable to the PlayStation 3 when it comes to performance, Coombes said that from a design perspective Sony has to be "constantly worried about battery life, we have to be constantly worried about power use."

"It's not going to be as powerful as the PS3 because the battery would last five minutes. And probably set fire to your pants," he joked.

As well as Uncharted for NGP, Bigbig Studios demoed the system's back-mounted touch panel with their Little Deviants game, and augmented reality features was highlighted with a giant "next generation dinosaur" superimposed in the conference centre amongst attendees.

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Latest comments (4)

Private Industry 7 years ago
"next generation dinosaur"

Did they bring back the old T-Rex? I really miss that one from the PS1 times alongside the Manta :D

Well it`s a handheld with a smaller screen so it does not need to have the same power to achieve similar picture quality and from the videos shown so far they are close enough with the graphics to the PS3. Any game or video looks at least as good if not better when running on a big TV compared to less detailed version a small 4 inch screen due to the pixel count of the screens. If I recall correct the press was usually saying the graphics are comparable to those on the PS3 not the hardware itself or that it could achieve game experiences close to those on the PS3.

4GB sounds reasonable given that the assets should be downsized a good junk compared to the home consoles. As for the average size of home console games, 360 is bellow 9GB. While it`s dual layer DVD there are not 9GB available for game data there is reserved space for other things that can`t be used for the game with most bigger games coming in at around 6.5GB plus/minus 100MB or below on the 360. So that`s only 2.5GB less space, assuming you can use all the 4GB, so that should be fine. Since it`s not a disc and digital storage I wouldn`t be surprised if they can provide even bigger once if really needed.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Private on 3rd March 2011 12:24am

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Tom Keresztes Programmer 7 years ago

Even the classic iPhone has a comparable resolution for a PS2 (320x480 vs PAL 768x576, but i am quite sure most ps2 games run in lower res), and the ps2 also had a DVD.
Also, unless the memory card uses some sort of advanced controller (like slc), it is slow and cpu intensive to read. On most mobiles i tested, this means around 50K-100K per sec load times, at least in my experience. No word on loading times yet....
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.7 years ago
Sounds comparable to the 3DS game cards of 2GB to 8 GB.

As for transfer speeds, it's significantly faster than optical mediums. And far less a battery drain and an optical drive. The PSP's UMD drive has a transfer rate of 1.375 MB/s. 50-100KB/s sounds like old generation 1 SD cards. Modern SDHC cards can transfer at rates of 8 MB/s with some reaching over 20 MB/s and one model now capable of 30 MB/s.
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Private Industry 7 years ago
I`m aware of the resolution, but with the smaller screen there is a higher pixel density that makes things look better and give the graphics an HD feeling. Very basic example would be comparing a PS1 game running on TV with the same game running on a PSP. While it`s the same game it does look nicer on the PSP because of the pixel density of the screen compared to the TV and everything is smaller so things like having no FSAA is less noticeable.

Regarding the transfer speed, while it is only clear it is some sort of flash memory, it should be fast enough to load whatever is necessary. The videos of Uncharted where not really short and there was for sure streaming used as there where no loading screens during gameplay so the transfer speed should be good enough.
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