NGP: Specs, Games, and More!

So, earlier this week, we gave a brief glimpse on what Sony’s Next Generation Portable (NGP, for short) was all about and, if you read it, we were very clear on the fact that the NGP is a very sexy piece of machinery. After the PlayStation Meeting 2011 in Tokyo, Sony uploaded some pictures, promotional videos, and the press conference itself to the meeting website here.

Sony also updated the, in my opinion, most important piece of information of the NGP: the specs. Around the final quarter of 2010, Sony made extremely bold claims about their next portable, saying that the horsepower of the now named NGP is able to produce PS3 quality graphics; something Sony has been in the works for a long time. Now we ask ourselves; do the graphics work?

Heck yeah, they do! But what is this marvelous technology that’s powers the portable?

The NGP’s main features are, as we already stated, an OLED touch screen display, two thumbsticks (real, pop-out-of-the-system thumbsticks instead of your old PSP control nubs), a touchpad on the back of the system, and front and rear cameras. Here are the full specs of the NGP posted on Sony’s website:

  • 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)
  • 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 / Wi-Fi 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)(Wi-Fi) (Infrastructure mode/Ad-hoc mode), Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR (A2DP/AVRCP/HSP)

Sony also held a gameplay and graphical power demonstration with tech demos of Uncharted, Little Deviants, and the PS3 version of Metal Gear Solid 4 running at about 20-25 fps. During the Uncharted demo, Shuhei Yoshida controlled Drake’s movement and in-game camera angle with the thumbsticks, while jumping and leaping over torn down trees was done with the use of the touch screen. Action buttons can also be used for these actions but, seriously, that’s for old chumps, right?  While climbing, Yoshida used the rear touchpad to make Drake climb up a vine by simulating the movement of Drake’s hands with fingers on the touchpad. Basic melee movements, like pushing someone to a cliff, are performed by simply touching the on-screen enemy.

At the same event, Sony announced software support from top notch developers. Other than the first party titles like LittleBigPlanet, Uncharted, and Killzone, Sony’s getting the support of great third party developers such as Konami, Ubisoft, 2K Games and *gasp* EPIC GAMES!

Two of my personal favorite third party developers are PopCap Games and LEVEL-5. I’m really looking forward to see what projects these and more developers will be working on for the release of the NGP, which will be around winter of this very same year. Sony’s President, Kaz Hirai, was talking about the Japanese release at that moment, so look forward to an American date!

For more information on the NGP, you can always visit the PlayStation Meeting 2011 site.

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