Sony just announced PSP2. Dubbed the Next Generation PlayStation Portable (NGP), it looks like a slightly-tweaked version of the original PSP design. The most obvious change is the inclusion of two analogue sticks — actual analogue sticks similar to the DualShock’s and not whatever nub thingy the original PSP had.
Additional specifications include 960×544 5-inch OLED (4 times the resolution of the PSP), 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS, front and rear cameras, front and rear touch pads, and accelerometers and gyroscopic sensors based on the PS3 Move. Games will be sold on flash-based storage cards and UMD is gone forever. RIP.
The rear touch pad is basically a touch screen behind the NGP but without the screen part. I can’t really imagine what that is good for. Maybe I am just not a huge fan of touch-based gaming.
The hardware sounds like it is basically capable of all the augmented reality, location-based, motion-controlled, social, networked multiplayer, touchscreen gaming any developer can ever come up with. Sounds quite insane frankly. Detailed specs here.
I wonder if the NGP will be breaking any new grounds for console launch prices…
Also, this crazy fusion of human interface technology will certainly make the NGP an enticing target for hardware hackers and homebrew developers.
According to MGS-creator Kojima, the NGP’s graphics are just as good as the PS3’s. Given that the screen size is smaller, I find this entirely plausible. He showcased MGS4 (which at the time was supposed to be the pinnacle of PS3’s HD graphics) running on the NGP.
Sony also brought in Capcom and Sega to show off NGP running Lost Planet 2 and Yakuza: Of The End that were originally developed for PS3. Joystiq quotes Capcom representation saying that the NGP can handle the “full specification” of the PS3, whatever that really means.
The game showcases demonstrating PS3 ports running on the NGP seem somewhat ambiguous as to whether they are merely demonstrating the fact that the NGP is capable of running PS3 games with minimum tweaking, or whether those ports represent actual commercial NGP releases that are in development.
Kojima sounds like he wants to make games that run exactly the same on the PS3 and NGP and can be played on either, but this does not appear to be the official purpose of the NGP. I suppose more will be revealed in the near future.
The NGP is only coming out at the end of the year, so it’s quite clear that Sony chose to unveil it now to steal some thunder from Nintendo 3DS’ impending release, as it had done in the past against the Dreamcast and the Xbox 360.
Frankly, I’ll buy whatever next/this-gen console that gets Valkyria Chronicles 4. Let’s just hope it’s not the original PSP. Come on Sega WOW!
It’s not clear what exactly are the titles supported. PS1 is a given, but apparently there will be PSP titles too. Is PS2 too much to hope for?