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Sony PSP2 Announced - Called NGP

David Gilbert

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Sony PSP2 Announced - Called NGP

It seems as if January is now known as portable console season as Sony has just announced its latest gaming machine strangely called the next-generation PlayStation Portable or NGP.

One week on from Nintendo giving the world the 3DS, Sony has announced what everyone had been calling the PSP2, and the new gadget does look a lot like its predecessor. However the NGP boasts some seriously impressive spec both inside and out including quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU and a quad-core Imagination Technologies PowerVR SGX543MP4+ GPU. Add to that highly improved screen resolution, touchscreen, multi-touch touchpad, dual analogue sticks and two cameras and you will see that the NGP is an entirely different beast to the PSP.

The NGP was announced earlier this morning at an event in Toyko by Kazuo Hirai, President of Sony Computer Entertainment. However while all this news is very exciting, we won’t be getting our hands on the powerful little device until Christmas - no, you didn’t read that incorrectly, Sony won’t be bringing the NGP goodness to us until late in 2011. It is therefore likely to be fighting a serious battle with the 3DS which hits shops here in the UK on March 25. However the NGP will be relying on its impressive hardware and new “social interaction” aspect to make it stand out.

The hardware is impressive. The CPU and GPU aside the 5in OLED touchscreen has a whopping 960 x 544 resolution, it sports dual analogue stick controllers, Wi-Fi, 3G, GPS, a 5in multi-touch capacitive touchpad on the rear, two cameras (one front, one rear), as well as a gyroscope and accelerometer similar to those seen in the PlayStation Move and an electronic compass.Tentative dimensions for the NGP given by Sony were 182 x 18.6 x 83.55 mm but no weight was released.

On the gaming front, Sony has done away with the UMD and games will now come on a “a small flash memory based card” which will be technology dedicated to NGP games. Some of the games on show in Toyko included Killzone, Resistance, Little Big Planet, and Uncharted – the latter showing off how the rear touchpad could be used for climbing up vines. We hope this wholly new control system could see developers come up with some innovative ways of controlling in-game characters.

The new UI on the NGP will be called LiveArena which will include built-in social networking through PlayStation Network. The UI will even let you jump directly from games to LiveArena to update your status without losing game position. A new application called Near, designed specifically for the NGP that comes pre-installed will let users find out what their friends in the vicinity are playing now or what they were playing recently. Users can also meet their friends and new players virtually.

It seems a little mean for Sony to announce the NGP now and make everyone wait a whole year to get their hands on one but in the mean time we will be bringing you all the latest news regarding games, hardware and of course the all important pricing. However, terrible name aside (and Sony may change this prior to launch), the NGP looks seriously impressive and we can't wait to get our hands on one to have a look.

Runadumb

January 27, 2011, 3:45 pm

Finally! I was dreaming about this stupid thing last night haha.


So far I am very impressed. Was hoping for a slider design to keep the size down and to allow touchscreen only games to be more comfortable to play. I see the trade off with that design would be thickness and stupid little analogue "nubs" as opposed to the much better looking sticks they have. So I understand why they felt this was a better design overall. Speaking of the analogue sticks, holding my 1st gen PSP and imagining playing with them is, er, well awful. Hand cramp style. I hope that isn't the case. Does look massive though.





The specs should keep it ahead of smartphones for a good 2 to 3 years and by then games and PSN compatibility could keep it as a front runner. Love the idea of starting a game on my PS3 (or 4???) and continuing it on the go. Killer feature if many games support it. If they continue to evolve the Xeperia Play on a yearly basis then maybe there could be a phone version of this a little down the line. I find that unlikely as Sony have said many times in the past they don't want to give Ericsson access to their Playstation brand.





Shame we have to wait basically a WHOLE FREAKING YEAR to buy one. Especially as I can't see me buying one day 1, unless it's relatively "cheap". Long wait for me I guess haha.





Hope they have some indie developer access, if only for emulators. These devices mean so much more to me if I can run snes, N64, dreamcast or whatever. Please Sony, don't police the emulators.





Anyway, it is looking good.

theDman

January 27, 2011, 4:18 pm

I wouldn't be surprised if this costs as much as a PS3 when it is eventually released...


And i'm going to say now...it won't make the 2011 release date. I just know it.

theDman

January 27, 2011, 4:21 pm

And also, with specs like that...I REALLLY wonder what the battery life is like on it.


2 touch surfaces...gps, wifi, 3g, quad core processors.....


It's going to need one HELL of a battery!

Ahlan

January 27, 2011, 4:41 pm

It looks stunning, I love the design, im really happy they didn't remove the buttons.





5-inch OLED front multi-touch display and quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor!





The real next gen portable gaming is here





http://blog.us.playstation.com...

hankb6d

January 27, 2011, 4:47 pm

So... The leak pictures where nowhere near the design.





As the great Jeff Gerstmann pointed out it's a scary time in this market, I predict a bloodbath too.

Jones

January 27, 2011, 5:26 pm

The "leaked" design had me interested. This, Im afraid, has turned me right off.





I'd rather spend my money on the next iPad or some other tablet. Playing a PS3 game on the go just doesn't interest me all that much.

adoniteINK

January 27, 2011, 5:33 pm

NGP(Next Generation Protable) is not the final name given to the device. Its simply a 'working title'

joose

January 27, 2011, 5:47 pm

The specs may of improved but this feels like a very similiar offering as the original PSP. I can't see that Sony have learnt any lessons here. 3DS is going to do well as well as the Apple/Android platforms taking a big chunk out of the market where the PSP used to be..

piesforyou

January 27, 2011, 5:59 pm

@joose





They tried to do something different and it failed dramatically. They have the sense to know, now, that what people really want is just a modern PSP.

rav

January 27, 2011, 6:23 pm

Looks very drool worthy to me, looks and spec wise at least.





I can't see it being under £199 but then at least you'll be getting some serious kit for your money *cough.. Nintendo!*





I still think Apple are missing a trick by not launching a high quality dock connector utilising joy pad casing to effetively turn an iPhone/Touch into a proper portable gaming machine. Might not look sleek (although I'm sure they could figure it out) but it would really eliminate the need for buying any other sort of portable.





Given the proliferation of smartphones I just can't help feeling that portables are becoming a lost cause. I can't see myself really buying one of these just to play games when an iPod touch can fulfill that need well enough and do so much more.

jingyeow

January 27, 2011, 6:42 pm

Fifa 12 will look great on this. I want.

Carnex

January 27, 2011, 7:21 pm

This device is a bit of an overkill. Kojima stated that he simply recompiled MGS4 demo code to NGP and it was shown running at 20fps. I'm a bit afraid tho that developers will see it's power and reputation as invitation to make games meant more for home console just like with PSP.





Still a great device. I still wish it had SIM slot (it may still get it but it's unlikely) so i could use it as phone with headset.





Battery is confirmed at 4-5 hours (target was 8 hours but nothing could reach that at reasonable size/weight) which should be enough.

Ahlan

January 27, 2011, 10:05 pm

@rav





You said: "I can't see myself really buying one of these just to play games when an iPod touch can fulfill that need well enough and do so much more.





Well This device is not meant to people like you, its is for gamers, and by the way iPod is not a good gaming device as the PSP or DS, simply because it lacks good games (not casual mini stuff) and most of the "good" big games like NOVA are unplayable, because when someone actually is playing his figures take aprox 40% of the screen so he won't see a thing,





Thats why PSP2 or 3DS are a most have for gamers, simply because:





- Power


- Exclusive famous games


- First party gaming developers


- Analog sticks


- Physical Buttons








@Carnex, No the real Battery life is not confirmed yet (i know it was posted on EuroGamer but their claim dose not have any source) the official source said between 8 and 10 hours.

HarryGlass

January 27, 2011, 11:30 pm

It's not coming out til almost Xmas, so there's no need to announce battery figures as I'm sure they are going to spend the next few months tweaking it as much as possible to give it as much battery life as they can.

Chris

January 27, 2011, 11:40 pm

@Ahlan: I agree with rav insofar as I'm not sure about the whole concept of playing 'hardcore' games on the move. If I'm ever playing a game out of the house, it's to kill a few minutes of boredom (on the train for example) - the definition of casual gaming. iPod & smartphone games fulfil this purpose adequately, and I don't need to buy another gadget and carry it around. If I want a serious session, I have a PC and a PS3 for that.





I'm sure many people would still buy one of these things, but in a world populated by powerful smartphones, perhaps that market is shrinking.

speedyg2012

January 27, 2011, 11:59 pm

PSP2 should blow the 3DS out of the water graphically speaking, but it needs more than just brute power and great demos to tempt new buyers.





Not sure it has enough of a USP anymore.

rav

January 28, 2011, 1:08 am

@Ahlan


As an owner of every current gen console and portable (and a fair few older ones) I quite wrongly assumed that this might have been aimed at me but thanks very much for the clarification. ;-)





As I previously said, and you were good enough to quote, I believe that "the iPod touch can fulfill that need well enough". Note the last two words. I was pretty quick to ridicule mobile gaming until I got my Touch and found more than enough content to keep me happy and negate the need for a proper portable console. Out of interest do you have an iOS device?





Obviously there will be gamers for whom nothing else will suffice but I'm guessing that a large majority will be more than content with the likes of Angry Birds and Cut the Rope.





I don't think there's anything wrong with the NGP iteself. I just think that portable consoles are becoming a shrinking niche.

Ahlan

January 28, 2011, 1:16 am

@HK exactly








@Chris, sorry mate i wasn't talking about people who like to kill time playing some casual gamers like bejeweled or angry birds, Im talking about gamers who like kill time(on the train,bus,plane,toilet) by playing complex games like MGS, GOW, Uncharted, resistance, Monster hunter etc, also there are over 60 million PSP costumers.





and btw here is a list of Developers and Publishers working on PSP2 "NGP"





http://www.joystiq.com/2011/01...








This is what will make PSP 2 a must buy for core gamers.

joose

January 28, 2011, 2:41 am

Power does not matter, repeat after me power does not matter..

Geoff Richards

January 28, 2011, 4:21 am

OK, so there's been lots of discussion about the tech, the relevancy of the platform in light of the booming smartphone market, but what Dear Readers of the street price?





As far as I have seen, none has been mentioned, but given the tech specs, who would care to venture a launch price?





If it was the latest smartphone, with those specs, we'd be looking at £500 SIM-free easily. Will Sony sell it at a loss like they did with PS3 (and Microsoft did with Xbox 360; they make back the cash via platform license fees on each game sold)?





A PSP Go is around £150 and the full-fat PSP around £175. But NGP has 3G, and quad-core processing etc etc





I will venture £249.99, and assuming loss-leader (given the above economic of high-end smartphones)

FutureAlien

January 28, 2011, 12:30 pm

Any word on backwards compatibility with PSP games?

GoldenGuy

January 28, 2011, 1:10 pm

OLED makes me nervous. Wonderful technology and I'm glad to see someone keeping it alive, but Sony's really got to watch they don't kill themselves on pricing.

Runadumb

January 28, 2011, 1:51 pm

Guys have you seen this http://www.computerandvideogam... MY GOD!





Price I am guessing £250 for the wifi only SKU, which funnily enough kills it stone dead for me regardless of how awesome it looks right now. Also I am never ever ever ever ever ever ever paying £30+ for a handheld game. The PC has spoilt me rotten for game prices and I just can't get my head around handheld games costing twice what I usually pay on PC.





Oh and if the rumours of the next Iphone going dualcore are true then I don't understand why Apple don't release some form of gamepad addon for the Ipod/Iphone range. Stick a battery in it, make it thin and light and slap sell it for £100 and these new handhelds don't stand a chance. Each year the sales will stagnate until both the 3DS and PSP2 are dead, which won't take long as the devices are brand new.


Not that I want that to happen, it just seems obvious to me and I am surprised each year when Apple fail to do it. I say "Apple" because IOS has become a huge gaming platform (despite it's failings) and due to the locked down nature of the platform making it far easier to have a standard. Microsoft could also do something like this next year, they have time and could do it very well if they get WP7 up to speed.


At least Sony appear to be hedging their bets by making the first inroads for something like that with Android.

David Gilbert

January 28, 2011, 2:23 pm

@FutureAlien SOny have said it would be backwards compatible with downloadable PSP games as well as those available in the PlayStation Store.





@all Indeed price is going to be interesting. There are reports of pricing in or around $250 in the States, which would suggest pricing of, as a few of you said, about £250 here (looking at how hings worked with the 3DS). Anything above this would be crazy from Sony I believem though your £250 will only get you the WiFi only model probably with a premium on 3G connectivity.

Chris

January 28, 2011, 3:27 pm

@Ahlan: "Im talking about gamers who like kill time {..} by playing complex games"





I understand that, being as it is the PSP's raison d'etre. My point is that I think the number of people willing to fork out for such a device has significantly decreased in recent years. The world has changed a lot since 2005 when the PSP was released, you only have to travel on the Tube and count the city slickers who pull out their iPhones to see that.





Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it will sell millions, just perhaps not as many as its predecessor.





And yeah, £250 sounds about right for an initial price.

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