In 2004, Sony unleashed the PlayStation Portable, a handheld that was supposed to be the titan of portable gaming — the end to Nintendo's successful GameBoy Advance reign. It was supposed to trounce the then new Nintendo DS and grind it into the ground with its PS2-caliber graphics and multimedia functions. It didn't.
In the wee early hours of the morning, Sony announced what had been rumored for months: the PSP2, code-named NGP (tentative title for the handheld and short for Next Generation Portable). So what are you waiting for? Follow the link for the 411 on Sony's new NGP.
Release Date, Price, Colors and Size
It will be released this holiday season, but no pricing has been announced yet. Sony showed off a black and white model of the NGP — more colors aren't really Sony's thing, so that's probably all we'll get. Kotaku says the NGP is larger than the PSP-3000 and Japanonphile blog, Danny Choo, reports the dimensions as "182.0 x 18.6 x 83.5mm (width x height x depth)." The NGP does sound bulkier, so no skinny jeans for you anymore. Well, the PSP was never really all that easily pocketable anyway.
Dual Micro Analog Sticks and Touchpads
Two micro analog sticks, beyotches. One below the D-Pad and one below the action buttons. The smaller analog sticks should feel more like DualShock analogs. Finally, FPS shooters will be done right!
Dual touchpads too. The front screen is a touchscreen and the back has a touch sensitive touchpad. In a demo for Uncharted, the touchpad was used to climb a vine.
OLED Screen and High Resolution
Two for two. The leaks were right on this one, too. The NGP has a 5-inch 960 x 544 resolution OLED screen. That's nearly as good as the iPhone 4's 960 x 640 resolution screen! The OLED screen is going to have great viewing angles, for sure.
Big Name Games
Lots of first-party Sony titles such as Little Big Planet, Resistance, Uncharted, Killzone and Hot Shots Golf were shown in a demo reel. Uncharted looked nearly as good as its big brother on the PlayStation 3. Looks like those rumors of the NGP being as powerful as a PS3 weren't too far off either.
Of course first party games aren't enough unless you're Nintendo. Big third-party franchises such as Lost Planet, Monster Hunter, Yakuza, Call of Duty and Metal Gear Solid were also thrown around.
Cameras: Snap Snap.
The NGP has a camera on the front and a camera on the back. Sony didn't elaborate on how many megapixels the cams would have. We hope it's at least 5-megapixels on the back and VGA on the front — anything less really wouldn't do the trick.
What else is there to say? The rumors were right on this one, too. The NGP will have Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and GPS built right in. Location-based apps and games will take advantage of the 3G and GPS to show what games are being played, purchased, etc. in any particular area.
3G connectivity wil be sold as separate unit.
Six-Axis Motion Sensors
The NGP joins the motion-control club with a bunch of sensors for tilt gaming action. How sensitive will the three-axis accelerometer and three-axis gyroscope be? As good as the ones in the PlayStation Move — because they're the same ones.
Want more? There's also a three-axis compass stuffed in the NGP.
Game Cards and Region Lock
UMDs are DEAD. The NGP uses flash cards that look very similar to an SD card. No more spinning discs equals faster game loading times and no more scratched media. Hooray! Big smiles everyone. Cartridges win again and so do physical retailers that sell games. Sony didn't mention how large each game cart would hold. We're guessing more than the 1.8GB that a UMD can, if PS3-quality games are going to be stored.
Digital game downloads will remain in the PlayStation Store.
Sony didn't mention anything about games or content being region locked.
CPU, RAM and Battery Life
Oh yeah! The NGP houses a quad-core ARM Cortex A9 processor (not sure what the clock speed is) and uses an SGX543MP4+ GPU. No details on the amount of RAM, but it looks to be beefy with all the tasks this baby can handle.
Sony says that the NGP's battery will be on par with the current PSP. The battery is sealed in, just like the iPhone. This is because of the touchpad on the back of the NGP. Guess you won't be carrying spare batteries for extra long gaming sessions outdoors.