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Japanese devs enthusiastic over 3G support for NGP

39% of retailers want new Sony handheld, claims Famitsu survey

A number of prominent Japanese developers have commented on their hopes and expectations for Sony's NGP console, in a new feature in games magazine Famitsu.

As translated by website Andriasang, the feature begins with an overview of the hardware from Impress Watch technology expert Zenji Nishikawa. He notes that the NGP takes the opposite approach from the PlayStation 3 by using existing technology rather than bespoke chipsets. He estimates the price of the device at ¥25,000 (£187), the same as the Nintendo 3DS in Japan.

The feature then continues with a series of comments from prominent developers. Level-5 director Jiro Ishii suggests that the NGP could 'accelerate the movement away from consoles' and that he is interested in using the side touch panels and 3G network features to make an episodic adventure game with weekly installments.

Although the NGP's 3G functionality has already caused some controversy, with Nintendo suggesting it could limit the format's userbase, most of the Japanese developers in the feature seemed to consider it a key feature for the format. For example, Square Enix's Yoshinori Kitase expressed interest in creating a role-playing game that utilised a constant online connection.

Although most of the comments were positive Sega producer Satoshi Sakai expressed concern about the rising production costs involved in the NGP. He suggested that companies would increasingly turn to downloadable titles in order to remain profitable.

Konami director Akari Uchida predicted that the release of the NGP would see games become more casual, as a result of the communication options offered by online play.

Team Ninja's Yousuke Hayashi suggested that the NGP would mean an end to differentiating between games played at home and on the move, with users able to continue playing the same game on the NGP and PlayStation 3.

Famitsu also ran a poll that revealed that 39 per cent of retailers wanted the NGP, and 76 per cent of readers. Those polled believed that the NGP's visual power and the dual analogue controllers were the console's most notable features. The most wanted game franchises for the platform were Monster Hunter, Metal Gear, and Final Fantasy.

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