I’ve steered clear so far of any news about the PSP2 or the NGP as Sony call it (Next Generation Portable) until there was some solid info on the units themselves and when a “reliable” release date was issued, well here it is. Lets face it the PSP could’ve been the cat’s pyjamas but fell due the overwhelming popularity of the Nintendo DS with its strong games catalogue, innovative controls and general niceness that only Nintendo could bring. Despite it's abilities it just couldn’t nail that “boys toy” market. Home consoles were still the be all and end all and portable gaming just weren’t in if you were between 16 and 40 (therefore not wanting to play kids games or Brain Training). The PSP was promising though. It did plenty and had it’s own format (UMD) but Sony ditched that for the PSPGo which sadly did even worse than the PSP with UMD capabilities. Now mobile gaming is back at an all time high with the mobile phone technology getting exponentially better that the games on them are increasing in ability so how can Sony deliver with a new portable games console especially when its trying to nail the mobile phone games market with its own Playstation branded mobile phone. Hopefully with the NGP is how. Certainly on paper its got all the potential to be great but that’ll depend on how Sony push it, Click on to see what its got.
Firstly a massive 960×544 touchscreen OLED screen. Ok its not HD but that certainly is a high resolution for its size and a lot better than the PSP(4x to be precise), plus with an OLED screen the colours will be more vivid the blacks deeper and they use a lot less battery power. Inside Sony have said the main processor and graphics processors are the most advanced available a quad-core Cortex-A9 processor and an Imagination Technologies PowerVR SGX543MP+ graphics processor. This blows the Nintendo 3DS out of the water and if rumours are to be believed graphically will be as good if not far from a PS3.
Control wise you have the touchscreen to navigate menus an no doubt use in certain games and applications. There’s the traditional setup of D-Pad, classic Playstation buttons and for the first time, dual-analogue sticks. There’s also an exciting new feature on the reverse, a new touch-sensitive trackpad where gestures will add further control to your games and apps. Inside the NGP also has a 3D accelerometer, gyroscopic sensors and an electronic compass. This obviously has movement features not too distant from the Playstation Move controller adding another dimension to your gaming skills.
The NGP is also more sociable than it’s predecessor with dual cameras too. One rear-mounted and one front mounted. Not only could these be used in games but social networking applications as well as the obvious “taking pictures” functionality. Connectivity wise the NGP will pack Wi-Fi, 3G and GPS functions for multiplayer action, internet access, instant downloads, navigation and again social networking.
The media itself will come in a new hard format and be available from the Playstation store. The games will be on memory sticks of varying sizes for those wanting a hard copy but also games can still be purchased and downloaded from the Playstation Store as well as other media that the store offers. This then offers both options of the previous PSPs but also with both options being digital and not having the slowdown of reading off a UMD.
As said before everything looks promising and I hope Sony deliver this time. There’s no price details at all and I wouldn’t expect any till release which Sony has said will come in “the holidays”, basically that’s Christmas to us Brits but nobody knows if that’s worldwide or a regional release. Will have to wait and see.