PSP2 (NGP) Impressions

So yesterday, Sony announced it’s new PSP2, codenamed the NGP (Next Generation Portable) and man, am I excited.

For too long, Nintendo have dominated portable gaming with their DS, and although gaming on the iPhone is pretty cool, the lack of controls and big-name-games didn’t make it a strong contender. The PSP had almost died out while the DS sold millions, releasing a slightly different model every year. When Sony brought out the PSP Go, there was a sniff of hope, and even though the lack of a UMD drive was great, gamers weren’t sure about full committing to downloadable titles.

But now, I think Sony has finally developed a system that can knock Nintendo off their thrown.

What amazed me when I first read the details coming through yesterday, was that Sony have really thrown everything at this one. They have not skimped features back, just to add them on the following year, they have packed them in at the start.

Here is a list of all the specifications direct from the Playstation website:

Specifications for NGP
CPU
: ARM® Cortex™-A9 core (4 core)
GPU: SGX543MP4+
External Dimensions: Approx. 182.0 x 18.6 x 83.5mm (width x height x depth) (tentative, excludes largest projection)
Screens (Touch Screen): 5 inches (16:9), 960 x 544, approx. 16 million colours, OLED multi touch screen, capacitive type
Rear touch pad: Multi touch pad, capacitive type
Cameras: Front camera, rear camera
Sound: Built-in stereo speakers, built-in microphone
Sensors: Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer), three-axis electronic compass
Location: Built-in GPS, Wireless location service support
Keys / Switches: PS button, Power button, Directional buttons (Up/Down/Right/Left), Action buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square), Shoulder buttons (Right/Left), Right stick, Left stick, START button, SELECT button, Volume buttons (+/-)
Wireless communications: Mobile network connectivity (3G), IEEE 802.11b/g/n (n = 1×1) (Wireless), (Infrastructure Mode/Ad Hoc Mode), Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR (A2DP/AVRCP/HSP)

I shall first start off with the NGP’s design. At first glance you can tell that it’s not too different from the previous PSPs and quite unlike the many concept designs drawn up by Sony fanboys. It looks sleek, and stylish, and solid. In many ways it reminds me of the iPhone 4; glossy black with the metal trim. The dual analog sticks are a very, very welcome addition and will make camera controls much easier to use. The OLED screen in a fairly decent 5in and I read somewhere that is was supposed to be 4x better resolution then the previous PSPs. I’m glad to see that the screen is also touch, but Sony have also included a touchpad on the rear of the device, something quite innovative for portable gaming. The NGP has also used some of the Move’s tech as well, with three motion sensors: a tree-axis gyroscope, a three-axis accelerometer and a digital compass. In the tech demo they showed how these sensors could be used to swing Drake (the popular character from Uncharted) across a ravine. It will be exciting to see how these are used in other NGP’s games. Sony have scrapped the downloadable game idea of the PSP Go, and are instead releasing their games on flash memory based cards, similar I guess to those of the Nintendo DS. But don’t fret, the games you had previously downloaded will still worked on the NGP. The NGP has two cameras, one front facing, and one rear facing. So far, megapixel details have not been released, but I can’t imagine the cameras been to spectacular. PSPs have had Skype pre-installed on them in the past, so you may be able to have video chats on the NGP. Finally, it has 3G connectivity and GPS functions and it will be interesting to see what Sony intend for these.

So, as you can see, the NGP has lot. Lots and lots. Yesterday, we were not given a release date or price, other then we can expect it before the 2011 holiday season, just in time for Christmas.

Thankfully, the NGP looks like it has the tech to succeed, but how much will all these goodies cost?

 

Thanks to http://www.engadget.com/ for the image.

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