Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sony PSP Successor NGP Game Console Showed

Sony PSP Successor NGP Game Console Showed

Sports 5-inch OLED touchscreen, 3G, Wi-Fi, dual-analog sticks, dual cameras and dual touchpads

At the Sony Computer event at Tokyo, company CEO Kaz Hirai announced the PlayStation Portable 2 game console codenamed NGP. Looks like NGP stands for Next-Generation PlayStation. Packing a 5-inch OLED screen, this new generation PSP game console is curvaceous at its corners. This handheld game console has touchscreen on the front panel and two touchpads on its back panel. Hirai noted that this NGP game console would be released in Japan by year-end.

Kaz Hirai, told that the NGP will offer five new features:
- Revolutionary User Interface.
- Social Connectivity.
- Location-based Entertainment.
- Converging Real and Virtual (augmented reality).
- PlayStation Suite Compatibility.

PlayStation Portable 2 game console offers a 5-inch OLED touchscreen supporting 960x544 pixel resolution which is four times that of the current generation PSP. On the body, NGP carries dual-analog sticks - one on each side of the screen. The action buttons and D-pad have been pushed higher to accommodate the analog sticks. Guess what? These dual-analog sticks promise you DualShock experience just like the ones in DualShock controllers for PS3.

Just above the Action buttons, lies a front facing camera. Another camera lies on the top center at the back of the console. At the back, there are twin-touch pads that will let you interact with the console more effectively and enjoy the gameplay of the upcoming games for the same. Sony seems to have brought back Flash Cards for the game as the NGP will accommodate one. Physically, NGP is larger than the PSP3000.

Internally, Sony's new NGP game console is claimed to come with a faster processor but details of the same aren't divulged as yet. Also, the game console will have motion sensors and gyro sensor to add more fun while gaming as you can tilt and move the NGP game console as you play different interactive games. The shoulder buttons continue to exist but have been sliced to appear more lean.

- CPU: ARM Cortex -A9 core (4 core)
- GPU: SGX543MP4 (4 core)
- Dimensions: 182mm x 18.6mm x 83.5mm (Widthxheightxdepth)
- Screen: 5-inch OLED capacitive, 16:9 aspect ratio, 960x544 pixel resolution
- Touchpads: Capacitive
- Cameras: Front and rear
- Sound: Built in stereo speaker with grills on front and built-in mic
- Sensor: three-axis accelerometer, three-axis gyroscopic sensor and three-axis compass
- Location: Built-in GPS
- Wireless: 3G Network, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (infra and Ad Hoc) and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR

As you can see, the NGP sports a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 based powerful CPU and quad-core SGX543MP4 powerful GPU to support high quality graphics.

New NGP will also sport a totally different and fresh user interface that will carry circular icons arranged in a honeycomb-like grid style. In NGP, you have to swipe the display to browse between different home pages for app shortcuts, just like you do in Android smartphones. Once a game gets installed, it appears as an app icon (just like in smartphones) and users need to swipe through the different homescreens for accessing the game or app they wish to use.

The NGP game console also supports 3G Networks and I wonder how it is going to work for countries like India. We hope the Wi-Fi version will work like a charm as always.

Sony NGP brings a new LiveArea UI which is dubbed as game-oriented communication platform. Basically, it's a User Interface that will let you multi-task while you are gaming. You will be able to comment on or track your friends' activities in real-time. The Near App offers you the list of most popular games near your area. Not only that, users can also browse the nearby users based on map of avatars. Once you tap on a particular avatar, you can see the games that that particular user plays. And of course, you can rate the games.

Sony indeed has introduced a true successor to PlayStation Portable and has also raised the bar of portable gaming for rival Nintendo as well as fiercely popular Apple iOS platfrom. As of now, the official price of the gaming console hasn't been announced but we may expect it to be announced at the Game Developers Conference starting February 28.

(Images: AV Watch, Japan)

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