Sony has revealed the next generation of its PlayStation Portable. Code-named NGP, or Next Generation Portable, the new handheld game player is expected to be released later this year. Pricing hasn't been announced.
The NGP, shown Thursday at an event in Tokyo, features a five-inch OLED touchscreen on the front and a multi-touch pad on the back, cameras in front and back, a gyroscope, an accelerometer, GPS and an electronic compass, as well as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity. Game players will also welcome the NGP's two thumbstick controllers, which they have wished for on previous versions.
The NGP will be accompanied by a new format for games, a small flash-memory card on which game titles will be released or saved after downloading. In addition to games developed for the new device, the NGP can play PSP titles, minis, PS One classics, and video and comics from the PlayStation Store.
The CPU is a quad-core ARM Cortex, the GPU is the Imagination Technologies PowerVR SGX543MP4+, and there are built-in stereo speakers and a microphone. Sony said game franchises that have been or are expected to be developed for the NGP include Killzone, Uncharted, WipEout, LittleBigPlanet, Call of Duty, Resistance, Little Deviants, Hot Shots Golf, Reality Fighters, Gravity Daze, Smart As, Broken and Hustle Kings.
Sony said the NGP is as powerful as its big brother, the PlayStation 3 console. Video clips of the NGP circulating on the web indicate spectacular graphics, and the five-inch screen is larger than the original PSP.
Accompanying Sony's NGP announcement was its unveiling of the PlayStation Suite, an online store that will offer titles for the growing population of Android-based devices. Devices will need at least the Gingerbread version 2.3 of Android to run the games.
A 'Very High' Bar
Laura DiDio, an analyst with Information Technology Intelligence Corp., said, "Sony's known for being able to regroup and get its edge back quickly," although she added that the "bar has become very high in the gaming market."
She also noted that, as Sony's PlayStation Suite anticipates, the game market for Android-based devices could explode. "If you're Sony," DiDio said, "you don't want to take any chances."
The flood of Android-based tablets, smartphones and netbooks is only part of the stiff competition Sony faces as it tries out its next act in portable gaming. Nintendo's DS is the market leader, and that company is hoping to keep its lead with the newest iteration, a DS that shows 3-D without glasses, with a March release expected. And then there's Apple's iPod touch, not to mention the iPad and other tablets, such as Hewlett-Packard's upcoming webOS line of products.
Posted: 2011-01-27 @ 11:17am PT
No UMD = epic fail.
No thanks, Sony.