Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sony Unveils Next Generation Portable

And that's exactly what they're calling it: "Next Generation Portable," or NGP. Though that's not the final name, don't get it twisted and call it the PSP2. It will be released later this year. What are the important specs and features, you ask?

  • Dual analog sticks: These are full sticks, not slide-pads.
  • 5" OLED capacitive multitouch touchscreen with 960x544 resolution.
  • Capacitive multitouch pad along the back of the device for rear control without obstructing the screen.
  • Uses a 4-core ARM CPU and a 4-core GPU.
  • A front camera and a rear camera, enabling all sorts of augmented reality games.
  • Sixaxis-style motion tech including gyroscope, accelerometer, and compass.
  • A microphone, perhaps for DS-style in-game use or voice communication.
  • 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 3G cellular network connectivity.
  • Can play PSP games, PlayStation Minis, PS One games.
  • Uses proprietary flash memory cards (that look like DS games) for new games.
  • GPS: Probably not for navigation, but for location-aware features.
  • Location-based features include "Near," "Live Area," and "Activity." These do things like tell you what games are popular in certain areas or if someone is playing a particular game near you.

Demos shown at the Sony event included a segment from an NGP Uncharted game in which the player uses the rear touchpad to swing on vines. I was particularly impressed by the NGP Hot Shots Golf demo, in which the player was able to look around the course by holding out the turning in place.

With all of this expensive tech packed in, I'd expect it to cost easily over $300, though Sony has yet to announce a price. How much would you pay for it?

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