Latest Gaming News

Sony Announces PSP's Successor; PlayStation Games on Android

Hardware, Mobile, PSP

27th January 2011, 7:50pm
click to view full image
view full

Sony has announced the true successor to the PSP handheld, currently codenamed the NGP (next generation portable). Set for release at the end of 2011, the Wi-Fi and 3G enabled system will be Sony's attempt to stymie the advances of Apple and Nintendo into its global gaming market share.

Featuring a multitouch OLED display on front, multitouch back pad for finger swipes, and Sixaxis tilt control, the system is truly gunning to be the head of portable gaming pack. A high-performance GPU/CPU and dual analog sticks will attempt to bring the type of gaming previously restricted to home consoles out on the road. UMDs are gone, to be replaced by flash memory cards that includes space for save files and add-on content. The NGP's analog sticks are below the d-pad and buttons, and this time around, the sticks are proper analogue sticks, unlike the PSP's small analogue nub. The back pad on the console is the same size as the front screen, so where players touch on the pad will directly correspond to where an object is on the screen.

Sony has also hinted at the kind of location-based social and connectivity features packed into the NGP. Each game will feature a 'LiveArea' where players can see other users' accomplishments, and the system will include a 'Near' app that reveals the activity of your friends in the vicinity. Some of the franchises confirmed to be in development for the system include Killzone, Uncharted, WipEout, LittleBigPlanet, Call of Duty and Resistance. No word on price yet, of course. Sony have stated that porting PS3 games to the NGP is relatively easy, a statement that was backed up by developers. As such, we'll definitely be seeing a number of enhanced ports of PS3 games on the handheld.

Tech wise, the NGP's specs have already been laid bare. It's quite a beast. The system will power its games with an ARM Corte-A9 four core CPU and a SGX543MP4+ GPU. It has tentative dimensions of 182 x 18.6 x 83.5mm (width x height x depth), which holds the five inch (12.7cm) 16:9 OLED screen. The capacitive multi-touch screen has a resolution of 960 x 544 and shows about 16 million colors.

It also has both a front and rear camera, built-in stereo speakers and microphone, three-axis electronic compass, gyroscope and accelerometer, GPS and Wi-Fi location service support. The physical switches include the PS, Power, Start, Select and directional buttons, the action and shoulder buttons, and volume keys. The system also includes mobile network 3G connectivity, 802.11 b/g/n and ad-hoc Wi-Fi, plus Bluetooth 2.1+EDR (A2DP/AVRCP/HSP). The NGP will come in several flavours on launch, only some of which will include 3G.

In a parallel announcement, Sony have also revealed the PlayStation Suite, which will bring PlayStation content to Android devices. PSone games will be made available for download, and a new development framework will hopefully attract the booming mobile app market to the systems. Casual gaming content developed for the PS Suite will be cross-compatible with the NGP. Sony will visibly badge PS Suite devices as compatible to aid consumers.

This is pretty big news. I don't think anyone foresaw that Sony would open up their signature product line to third party architecture. I have to say, though, that as out of left field and bold a move as it is, it's probably the right one. Keeping that brand dominance is important, and fighting off Apple would be difficult without the market penetration brought by the Android platform. Nintendo has its point of difference, and Apple is the new king - a beefier PSP2 would be fighting an uphill battle.

It also helps that the NGP is one hell of a sexy device. Check out the image gallery below for the sweetness, and stay tuned to Sliced Gaming for more on the upcoming industry-wide portable showdown.

Share |
click to view full image
view full
click to view full image
view full
click to view full image
view full
click to view full image
view full
click to view full image
view full
click to view full image
view full
click to view full image
view full
click to view full image
view full
click to view full image
view full
click to view full image
view full
click to view full image
view full
click to view full image
view full
click to view full image
view full

Reader Comments:

No comments have yet been added, feel free to add one by clicking below...