With the recent announcement of PlayStation Next Generation Portable (NGP), there is a lot of coverage for this new gaming device lately. Facing big competition with other game handheld and portable devices like iPhone, it seems that Sony included almost everything in the package, including the kitchen sink!
Before anything else, I like to comment on the super oval design. It looks great and it does not resemble the horrendous PSP Go at all. Just look how sleek it is. Good decision Sony.
I can’t believe we have to wait almost eternity to buy this because it will be only available on holidays of 2011 — and most probably in Japan first. For now let me share my list of 7 great things about NGP that I look forward to:
1. Quad-core CPU and GPU
It is the first mobile gaming device to boast a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor and quad-core GPU as well. With all that power packed in a small form factor, perhaps Sony is right when they said NGP is as powerful as PS3. Of course it’s hard to interpret that literally because it will be no match for PS3 at all. Perhaps what they meant was, the graphics will be as good looking as the current generation consoles if scaled down on a handheld device. Now imagine how long this thing can operate in a single charge. If Sony can at least match the battery life of the PSP battery, it’s okay. I really hope battery life won’t disappoint.
2. Big 5-inch OLED screen
NGP will sport a resolution of 960×544 – 4X more pixels than the previous PSP models which only have 480×272 resolution. And because it is OLED (organic light emitting diode) I expect that it will be very bright and vivid. I never used my PSP to watch movies but when NGP hits the store, I might do it this time around just for the eye candy.
3. Dual Analog sticks
Finally! After years of long wait, Sony finally listened. The original Sony Playstation controller wouldn’t be so epic without its pair of analog stick. Now that NGP has 2 nubs, we can finally enjoy those old PSPone classics in full analog controls. Game developers could now map those camera controls for the second stick like in FPS and adventure games. Also, the analog sticks and the d-pad are positioned higher. Hopefully this gives the player a better grip.
4. Front and back touch panel
The OLED screen serves as a multi-touch pad and the back features a unique back touch panel too. I know it sounds odd. Touch panel at the back? You have to watch the game demo for Uncharted and Little Deviants to understand it more. These, and the addition of six-axis motion sensor, allows you to interact with the game using three-dimensional actions including touch, trace, push and pull. With this features, NGP can easily get light-hearted games that uses touch input similar to NDS.
5. Wi-Fi + 3G Connectivity
With the combination of the front touch panel, good browser software and powerful hardware, NGP could even rival other wireless devices with browsers like iPhone. All I can say now is it’s too early to tell how it will compare with the competition. For those who are not after 3G, Sony announced that there will be at least 2 SKU for NGP: one with Wi-Fi only, and one with both and Wi-Fi and 3G.
6. Value-added Services
I am just curious how these things will work in PSP2. LiveArea is a replacement for XMB and has social networking element thrown into it where you brag about your trophies, message friends and shop. There is also Near which is service for location-based interaction and content (yes, NGP has digital compass too). While both may add unique NGP experience, LiveArea and Near are two features that could only be successful if there are many NGP owners around you. Let’s see how it will unfold.
7. New and Old Games
Sony has one of the largest library of games if not the largest. If games from PSone classics, PSP and PSN will be available for NGP, that will be a lot to begin with. Right now there are at least 16 games announced for NGP including Uncharted, WipeOut, Little Deviant, Killzone and Little Big Planet.
There will be more things to uncover with Sony’s new handheld gaming device. While you wait, save up now or you may pre-order from your favorite game store.
For those who have not seen the PlayStation Meeting 2011 where NGP was announced, enjoy the video below. You may want to skip to 6:00 to jump straight to NGP.
Official announcement: Introducing NGP – The Next Generation Of Portable Gaming