Well rumors were swirling for months and now Sony has finally revealed it's successor to the PSP. Codenamed the NGP (Next Generation Portable), the system sports a 5 inch OLED screen, dual analog sticks (high five), and a touch screen interface. It is a sexy piece of hardware looking very sleek.
Sony’s packing a lot of technology into the NGP, including a 5” OLED screen with a resolution of 960 x 544 pixels, front and rear facing touch pads, front and rear facing cameras, a gyroscope and accelerometer, GPS, Wi-Fi and 3G capabilities, two analog sticks, and a d-pad. It’s all powered by a quad-core ARM Cortext-A9 CPU and an SGX543MP4+ graphics processor. In laments terms, the games look almost as good as PS3 games.
About 82 developers are lining up to makes games for the handheld. Epic is developing some titles. Activision has already confirmed that Call Of Duty will make an appearance. Konami even showed gameplay of Metal Gear Solid 4, though they didn't confirm if the game would be coming out or not. Sony exclusives include WipeOut, Killzone, Little Big Planet, and Uncharted.
Though NGP looks and sounds like a wonderful piece of tech, there are a few concerns I have. It seems Sony has learned a lot from PSP, but has it learned enough? Games like Uncharted, and Resistance are great, but do they really work for handhelds? If you're on a crowded bus for only 10 minutes and you wanna kill time, do you have time to get deep into these games. Will Sony have easy to pick up and play games or is there focus only hardcore? PSP Go was a unanimous failure, but the design was intriguing. I find it interesting that Sony decided to abandon the sliding screen. NGP is essentially bigger that the original PSP. So that means it won't fit in my pocket, which means I have to buy a dorky carrying case. Awesome.
Sony is very adamant about leading the 3D race with it's TV's and 3D games, so don't you find it curious that NGP has absolutely no 3D compatibility. Are they content with letting Nintendo own the 3D handheld market? That just doesn't seem right considering they are still playing catch up to the Big N in the handheld market.
Finally, my final concern, and perhaps the most pressing is the price. How much is this thing going to be? With all those impressive specs, it's not going to be cheap. Sony is going to be taking a loss with each system sold, the question is how much will that loss be? If I had to guess, I'd say you're going to be paying $300, but I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Sony gave it a $400 price tag. Are you willing to pay that much for a handheld?
Overall, I'm very curious to see what Sony is going to do it's second time around. The NGP (please change that name Sony) is a very impressive piece of work. The games look almost as good as PS3 games, and the touch screens means it's gonna be user friendly. But is Sony still trying to bite off more than it can chew? Stay tuned with VGP for more info.