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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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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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