Codenamed: NGP (Next Generation Portable)

Posted by Grey Friday, January 28, 2011

Say hello to my little friend. Meet Sony's successor to PlayStation Portable (PSP), codenamed: NGP, an acronym of Next Generation Portable.

In retrospect, we here at The Daily Zombies have avoided coverage on the much-rumored PSP2 wisely. All eyes were on the special press conference held by Sony on Thursday (27th January) for major announcement on the future of the portable faction of the PlayStation family. And Sony certainly didn't disappoint.

At the press conference, Sony officially unveiled a new portable touchscreen gaming device, codenamed "NGP" for Next Generation Portable, as the successor to the PlayStation Portable (PSP).

Scheduled to arrive in time for the 2011 holiday season, NGP is more than a worthy successor to the PSP (and the false messiah, PSP Go). Boasting 3G mobile connectivity and WiFi, the device features a five-inch (960x544 resolution, four times the current PSP) OLED (organic light-emitting diode) touchscreen, a GPS receiver, tilt-sensitive SIXAXIS controls system, a special rear panel touchpad to control unique actions, front and back cameras, gyroscopic controls, as well as dual analog sticks.

Boasting the power of PlayStation 3, NGP will also support PlayStation Network Trophies. More significantly, say goodbye to the UMD. NGP utilizes a new form of media storage for games: A small flash memory-based card dedicated for NGP software titles. The cards will store full game titles along with add-on game contents and save data. Higher capacity cards are expected in the future to allow developers to store more data, resulting in an ever-evolving gaming environment.

Via an all-new interface called LiveArea, users will have access to the latest information on games from developers and publishers through the PlayStation Network. Similar to the XMB before it, LiveArea allows users to access different parts of the PlayStation space while viewing an Activity log that is constantly updated with accomplishments from users who are playing the same game, which can trigger active real time communication among users.

Pictures worth a thousand words, and video probably worth a millions. Check out the below video from NetworkWorld to have a comprehensive summary on the NGP.



Take a good look at the sexy beast from all angle before coming back for the hardware specifications.















Quite the sexy beast, isn't it?

Courtesy of PlayStation UK, here's the full speculations:

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 = 1x1) (Wireless), (Infrastructure Mode/Ad Hoc Mode), Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR (A2DP/AVRCP/HSP)


So exactly how big is the NGP? It is quite huge, as indicated by Kotaku in the image below:

While a slew of demo was on full display during the event, many were just tech demo to demonstrate the power of the device. Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima himself was on stage to show off a real-time demo of a cutscene from Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, with the announcement that he will be presenting his new project at the upcoming E3. Sega's Toshihiro Nagoshi also turned to showed off a video demo of Yakuza: Of the End.

Till now, confirmed titles are Uncharted: Portable, Hustle Kings, Hot Shots Golf Next, as well as new iterations of Killzone, Wipeout, Resistance, Monster Hunter, LittleBigPlanet, Dynasty Warriors, and Call of Duty.

Here's list of current third-party publishers and developers supporting the NGP: Grasshopper, IREM, Level 5, Namco Bandai, Square Enix, Ubisoft, 2K Games, Rockstar, Capcom, SEGA, Tecmo Koei, Konami, Epic, Activision. Just so that you can have a good idea of expecting what's coming up next. For the few PSP Go owners concerned over the playability of their existing downloaded PlayStation Portable game, you can rest easy knowing that the device will be backwards compatible, supporting any downloadable PlayStation Portable game once existing owners transfer their digital content over to the new device.

Till now, we do like what we have seen and are feeling rather optimistic for Sony in the upcoming next-gen handheld gaming device war. While the price of NGP has yet to be announced, our gut feeling is that it is not going to be too high just to keep its competitiveness against Nintendo 3DS, despite the notorious prediction by GameStop (a penny shy of a grand!) Let's keep our fingers crossed on that one.

In the meantime, here's the official press release from PlayStation UK:

Sony Computer Entertainment introduces the next generation portable entertainment system that will make its debut in 2011.

On 27 January 2011 at a specially convened press conference in Tokyo, Japan, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) announced its next generation portable entertainment system (code name: NGP), which delivers the ultimate portable entertainment experience.

NGP will arrive at the end of 2011 and is designed to offer unparalleled interactive entertainment that only PlayStation can deliver. This new system offers a revolutionary combination of rich gaming and social connectivity within a real world context, made possible by maximising SCE's experience from both PSP and PlayStation 3.

Deep and immersive gaming is at the core of the PlayStation DNA, and NGP is the latest embodiment of this vision. By having both Wireless and 3G network connectivity, together with various applications, NGP will enable infinite possibilities for users to connect, share and play with friends wherever they are.

The device includes a range of features that provide a genuinely cutting-edge, next generation, ultimate portable entertainment experience, such as:

Stunning OLED and Revolutionary User Interface
NGP incorporates a beautiful multi touch, 5-inch organic light emitting display (OLED) as the front display. A high performance CPU / GPU combined with OLED enables rich, visually striking graphics never seen before on a portable entertainment system, for both games and other digital entertainment content. The new system also incorporates a unique multi touch pad on the rear, and together with the front touch display, NGP offers new gameplay allowing users to interact directly with games in three dimension-like motion, through "touch, grab, trace, push and pull" hand movements.

Super Oval Design and Dual Analog Sticks
While succeeding the basic design philosophy of PSP, NGP adopts the Super Oval Design form factor, created to fit comfortably in users' hands. For the first time, a portable entertainment system will feature two analog sticks, which enable a wider range of genres to be brought into the world of portable videogaming.

LiveArea™
Every game title for NGP will be provided with a space called LiveArea™ where users can share the fun and excitement with other players. Users will have access to the latest information on games from developers and publishers via PlayStation Network. Additionally, NGP users will be able to view an Activity log that is constantly updated with accomplishments from users who are playing the same game, which can trigger active real time communication among users.

Near
SCE will also provide location-based services on NGP as part of the basic features utilising PlayStation Network. The new application called Near, developed specifically for this service and the network, will be pre-installed on the system to let users find out what their friends in the vicinity are playing right now or what they were playing recently. Users can meet their friends and new players virtually, regardless of what games they are playing, simply by sharing their game information across the dimensions of time and distance.

New Game Medium
NGP adopts a new game medium, a small, flash memory based card, dedicated for NGP software titles. Taking advantage of the flash memory feature, this innovative card can store full software titles plus add-on game content or game save data. By adopting a flash memory based card solution, SCE will be able to provide game cards with higher capacity in the future, allowing developers to store more game data to deliver rich and immersive games.

NGP will also come equipped with two cameras, one on the front and one on the rear of the system, as well as three motion sensors, gyroscope, accelerometer and electronic compass, all of which are designed to enable users to enjoy a world of entertainment that is linked with real life experiences.

PlayStation®Suite (PS Suite), announced at the same time as NGP, will also closely co-ordinate with NGP. The newly developed and released game content for Android based portable devices can also be enjoyed on NGP. As a result, users will have access to not only the most leading-edge content, but also some of the more casual experiences that typify the mobile market place.


2 comments
  1. Drastico Said,

    Easily one of the best articles I've come across covering the NGP. Is the front camera the little dot to the upper left of the typical playstation buttons on the right side of the NGP?

    Posted on February 16, 2011 at 12:08 AM

     
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