The next generation PlayStation Portable console was announced last week in Japan at the PlayStation Convention. Code named the NGP, this system has a lot to show off about. Sony has made the new NGP with less of an angular look on the sides much like the PSPGo system. The result is that the NGP is far more appealing than if Sony had used the previous 1000 through 3000 mold. The system will come in either Black or White. Knowing Sony, they will try to add a zesty tone to the colors so let’s say they will be Snow White and Artillery Black for now.
The NGP measures out to be 182.0 x 18.6 x 83.5 mm which in inches is approximately 7.16 x 0.73 x 3.29 inches at its most thick parts. The PSP-3000 measures up approximately to be 6.7 x 0.7 x 2.7 inches and the PSP go measure up to be 128 x 16.5 x 69 mm (the specs on PlayStation site for the go system is in millimeters and so there is no reason to convert to inches but this also means the comparison to the 3000 system will be more inaccurate). What does this mean? Simply put when compared to the 3000, the NGP will be slightly longer as well as taller. The NGP will also be a tad thicker than the 3000. Truth to be told it seems slightly unfair to compare to the go system but if we were to compare the NGP will be much longer and taller but only a tiny more thick.
The NGP comes equipped with an ARM® Cortex™-A9 core (4 core) processor. This CPU is indeed powerful as seen in the demonstration. It allows the NGP to produce near PS3 graphics with no sign of lag whatsoever. The Screen is a 5″ 960 x 544 OLED Multi touch display. This in itself is a big deal. Not only is the screen bigger but the NGP has 4x better resolution when compared to the current PSP systems. If you’ve been listening to the rumors then you already know that the NGP comes with a rear touch pad ( trust me it’s not nearly as dirty as it sounds), front and rear camera, and dual analog sticks. What the rumors didn’t tell you is that Sony has added the same Six- axis motion controller technology found in PlayStation 3 controller into the NGP console allowing a more interactive gaming experience. Like the PSP go, the NGP has built in Bluetooth. Of course being a next gen system, 3G network support has been added ( no carrier or 3G subscription price was mentioned at the announcement).
Sony has completely gotten rid of the XMB bar style for the home menu on the NGP. Instead a new organizational method has been created called Live Area. Icons are now bubble shaped and are oriented as if it were an Android system put in landscape mode except one slides up or down to get to the next page rather than left or right. The menu uses more vivid and appealing colors instead of the grey standard XMB from previous systems. Combined with the touch screen, as Kaz Hirai said, users will “Touch, Grab, Trace, Pull” through the menu as well as games. The “Live Area” expands into games one plays so that users can easily switch from game to game or to compare friends achievements in the same games. “Live Area” uses the 3G connection as well as the new Trophy Support to give real-time updates against friends.
Sony revealed several PS3 games that would be ported to the NGP system. Some of the games that were on the list of ports were, Lost Planet 2, Yakuza 4, Killzone, Dynasty Warriors and Metal Gear Solid 4. Among the original games for the system were Hot Shots Portable Next, Wipeout, Hustle Kings, Little Deviants, Gravity Daze and Little Big Planet. It was revealed at the announcement that the NGP would no long support UMD Disks. Instead the NGP will be using proprietary “SD like” memory cards for each game. No worry though, the NGP will still be able to play PSP games via download at the PlayStation store. This was demonstrated with a digital version of Monster Hunter Portable 3rd.
The final and probably most interesting change was the addition of true Apps to the NGP system. Two highlighted apps pre-installed into the system were “Near” and “Activity”. The “Activity” app records one current location and creates a map of where ones been (score for the stalkers!) and posts it to the network which friends can see and compare with. The “Near” app uses each location ones been to show the most popular games in that area. It will be interesting to see what apps will be available for download as time progresses.
Release Date and Price
Sony has said that the new NGP will be out in time for the holidays so we can expect it to be out around November or December. However, Sony skipped mentioning the price. It wouldn’t be surprisingly to see the NGP priced around 250 to 300 dollars. Even 350 wouldn’t be to shocking coming from Sony. We can expect a full release date and price to be announced at this years E3.