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PlayStation (Games) Sony Games

Sony Reveals the Next Generation Portable Console 244

UgLyPuNk writes "Of course it's not called the PSP2, because that would be too obvious and straightforward for the games industry. For the moment, at least, you'll be looking forward to news about the NGP – the Next Generation Portable." ARM® Cortex-A9 core (4 core), SGX543MP4+, Front and Rear camera. Rear touch pad, GPS.
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Sony Reveals the Next Generation Portable Console

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  • Rear touch pad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HelioWalton ( 1821492 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @11:13AM (#35020024)
    Putting a touch pad on the back is actually rather clever. The back is almost never used for anything but battery compartments and whatnot. Of course, having input devices on the back means that when you put it down, it'll either be screen down, or touchpad down. That touchpad had better be ready to last through explosions, otherwise they are probably going to start being broken quickly.
    • by DrXym ( 126579 )
      I think it's clever and will be effective for gaming since people will have a surplus of fingers holding the device doing nothing. Putting the touch on the back means they can swipe, touch or whatever without taking their thumbs off the control pads.

      I'm not so sure it would be useful outside of games though e.g. to click on a link in a web browser probably means feeling around the back, presumably with some onscreen feedback and tapping or something.

      • Not useful for clicking in a web browser but much better for scrolling - rear pad for scroll, thumbstick for cursor and button or stick click for page click sounds like a combination which would make reading documents or using the web on a handheld device a lot more comfortable than it currently is. Maybe they're thinking outside the gaming realm (although I can also think of ways they could start to incorporate it into games, too).
      • One of the things I remember seeing this being demoed with quite some time ago, was using the rear camera to do augmented reality stuff - your fingers on the touchpad basically appear on top of what the camera sees, creating the illusion of a see-through device.

  • Some specs (Score:5, Informative)

    by teh31337one ( 1590023 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @11:17AM (#35020074)

    * Quad Core A9 CPU

    * Quad Core PowerVR SGX543MP4+ GPU from Imagination Technologies. (They make the PoverVR 530 featured in Motorola Droids, PowerVR 535 in iPhone & iPad, and PowerVR 540 featured in Galaxy S devices, and playbook)

    * 5" Multi touch OLED display with 960 x 544 res.

    * Rear multi touch pad

    * Front and rear cameras

    * Three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer, three-axis electronic compass

    * GPS

    * Dual Analogue sticks

    * Bluetooth, 3G and wifi connectivity

    • Re:Some specs (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MacGyver2210 ( 1053110 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @11:25AM (#35020180)

      "Dual Analogue sticks"

      About damn time!

    • Oh, For the screen, they've quadruped the pixel count from the original PSP, just like Apple did with iPhone 4. It's backwards compatibe with previous downloadable PSP games.
      • i dont think so the psp is mips and the psp2 is arm cortex. it would need to be done in emulation and you knoe how long sony supports that. just keep in mind sont promisis alot and delviers little.
        • They thev supported Psone emulation for over a decade now, and they already live demoed a PSP game on the PSP2. Heck, they even announced psone games for Android. It's not like the PSP was really powerful compared to the PSP2, heck, even cellphones pack more power then it these days.
    • by quenda ( 644621 )

      But does it make phone calls? Or is 3G crippled like on the iPad?

      • Why does this need to make calls when they're also releasing a Playstation phone?

        • There isn't just one playstation phone. They announced Playstation Suite for Android that allows them to release psp/psone level content in a platform agnostic format. the result is they could offer the same game on a honeycomb tablet, android phone, and the PSP2. the 'playstation phone' is just one device that can play that content.
      • PSP has Skype, I imagine they'll keep that going on the PSP2
    • I thought Sony was making comments about HD gaming, and comparable to the PS3. Why the odd resolution?

      And if you're using the buttons/analog controls in conjuction with the rear touchpad, what is the purpose of the screen being multi-touch as well?

      • It's exactly double the PSP's linear resolution. Makes scaling easier for back compatibility.

      • They can easily upscale psp games. It's 4x screen res of psp, like iphone 4 is 4x screen res of previous iphones
      • I thought Sony was making comments about HD gaming, and comparable to the PS3. Why the odd resolution?

        And if you're using the buttons/analog controls in conjunction with the rear touchpad, what is the purpose of the screen being multi-touch as well?

        The touchscreen is for cases where you want to be able to use the screen to provide specific touch-sensitive controls. (For instance, a menu of RPG commands)
        The touchpad is for cases where you want the user to be able to use touch controls without obscuring the screen (For instance, aiming in a FPS.)

    • You out a cell phone in this thing and people are going to go crazy. Those are nice specs no matter how you slice it. Let's just hope Sony hits a home run and not another single.

      I'm torn about Sony. So much great history yet so many fumbles.

    • Let me guess. GPS is their next move for DRM? Hackers will have to disable that first in a crowded public place before moving on. =)

  • but will it sell? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by redemtionboy ( 890616 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @11:19AM (#35020094)
    It's definitely less novel than the 3DS, and a lot more capable, but then again, if I'm going to drop ~$400* on something like that, I might as well buy an iPad or a fancy smart phone. I think by making this thing ultra feature-full, they're blurring the line between the things they're competing against a lot more, and I think that does carry some risk at backfiring. Would I rather have a fancy gaming/media device and a simple phone, or vice versa. It's asking a lot for people to purchase high end devices on both fronts, and so they're going to have to make a choice. I don't think that choice is going to be overwhelmingly in favor of Sony. *Yes I realize there has been no official price announced, but looking at the specs, the device has to cost sony around ~$450 to manufacture. I expect a ~$400 price point.
    • by Zerth ( 26112 )

      I expect a ~$400 price point.

      That is the usual Sony game system pricing method, double whatever your competitor is charging.

  • by TheCarp ( 96830 ) <[ten.tenaprac] [ta] [cjs]> on Thursday January 27, 2011 @11:23AM (#35020166) Homepage

    I saw a presentation yesterday by some guys who do health care lab system automation. Pretty cool what they do these days. They were saying that, with some of the work that they are doing in imaging and processing images, Sony actually gave them a top secret next gen playstation prototype to use. So, the advances of the gaming industry, are... already helping research on next generation medicine.

    How is that for some unexpected crossover?

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by marcansoft ( 727665 )

      Remember, Sony made sure to kill off the use of PS3s as part of research clusters by discontinuing OtherOS-capable models with a false excuse and later pulling the feature outright on even refurbished older units with current firmware.

      They don't give a damn about research, they just pretend they do to get free advertising and public karma.

      • by TheCarp ( 96830 )

        Point. Very true.

        However, that said, they are a large company, so to say they don't care at all about research is probably as true as to say the opposite. Frankly, I think the decisions are probably orthogonal to each other. Clearly, as a whole, there are some things that they care about more than research (whether they are things that they should care about, or are absolutely atrocious on a number of levels... well... we probably agree on those points). However, publicity is easy to get and Sony isn't exac

  • by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @11:25AM (#35020184)
    I hope we get some decent games too. There's way too much half-baked Disney-animation licensed crap on handhelds already.
    • Re:Game quality (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Jim Hall ( 2985 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @03:15PM (#35022818) Homepage

      Here's the thing - I own a PSP. Guess what kinds of games I play on it? Puzzle games, short-attention-span games, platformers. I've played the hell out of PixelJunk Monsters [] and Lumines. [] Daxter [] and Loco Roco [] were each a ton of fun, but honestly was probably the limit for what my attention could bring to a portable device.

      Basically, I play this thing when I ride the bus to work. Anything that can be done in short spurts works great.

      They're talking about putting some big titles on the "NGP" - Killzone, Resistance, Uncharted. Those are awesome PS3 titles, don't get me wrong. But I just don't know that I'd play them on a portable device. My tastes differ when I'm on the go. A lot of that power will be wasted on me.

      Hopefully, someone will come up with a witty game that really takes advantage of the "NGP" without aiming for a port from a PS3 franchise.

  • Neo Geo Pocket (Score:5, Informative)

    by Neon Spiral Injector ( 21234 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @11:26AM (#35020204)

    Wasn't there already a portable with the initials NGP?

    • NGP isn't the retail name, it's just what the system's called until they come up with something better than "PSP2".

  • The real question is how will they be distributing games to the system? If it is, as some have speculated, download-only, I will skip this platform altogether.

    If it uses optical storage exclusively, the battery life and load times will likely be even worse than the PSP. What would be nice is if they actually made use of "Magic Gate" to allow optical games to be installed to compliant MemoryStick for better load times and battery life (given of course that the optical disc is present); probably will not happ

    • by tuffy ( 10202 )

      It uses Flash-style cartridges, essentially.

      • Would it not make more sense to use a form of ROM, rather than block-erasable EPROM (Flash)? Honestly, how often do you need to rewrite the contents of an entire game?

        • Some flash memories have two write enable signals: one for a small "settings area" and a separate one for the actual program and its data. The 256 KiB flash in the Nintendo DS and DS Lite is this way; if you've ever bridged SL1 when installing the FlashMe softmod, you'll understand what I mean. So by the time it gets packaged, it is ROM. As for mask ROM vs. OTP memory, is there really much of a price advantage of mask ROM over flash if you're not guaranteed to be making millions of copies?
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      I'll skip it until it's cracked and I can stuff all kinds of games on the MemoryStick.
      My PSP is rarely used except for a couple of the Homebrew games that can only be played via a cracked PSP. all the UMD disks I have sit unplayed.

      48hour pong is actually quite a bit of fun when you are playing against random people online.

    • Re:Storage medium? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Verunks ( 1000826 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @12:11PM (#35020746)
      it uses some sort of memory card []
  • by damn_registrars ( 1103043 ) <> on Thursday January 27, 2011 @11:47AM (#35020462) Homepage Journal
    I was looking forward to the Atari Flashback Portable [] that sadly never materialized. I really don't have a need or desire for a high-powered latest-generation portable console, but retro portable gaming I would pay for.
    • Ben Heck makes his own custom portable Atari 2600 systems all the time. []

      • Ben Heck makes his own custom portable Atari 2600 systems all the time.

        I have looked at his stuff before, and it is very neat. The fact that he built portables around the original cartridges is very nice. However the Atari Flashback Portable - at least as it was previously described - was a nice old-school/modern hybrid. It was supposed to download games through a USB port to internal storage - no cartridge slot needed. Personally, I think a portable that could have all 40+ of my original Atari games on it would be very cool, especially if it was made as a commercial syst

    • So once it's cracked (and it WILL be cracked), you'll probably be able to run some version of MAME on it, or something like it. Problem solved.

    • I was looking forward to the Atari Flashback Portable [] that sadly never materialized. I really don't have a need or desire for a high-powered latest-generation portable console, but retro portable gaming I would pay for.

      What about the Pandora []?

      What can you do with it? []

      Pandora's app site []

      Emulators []

      Loads more apps, including emulators and games []

      FWIW, I'm going to give Sony a chance to sell me a PSP2/NGP/whatever, but I'm already looking at alternatives. I don't really need all the gyros and accelerometers and multitouch surfaces and GPS and whatnot, and I think those things will jack up the price a lot. What I really want is a portable system on which I can watch videos (the PSP was good enough at that for me) and play

  • by SJ2000 ( 1128057 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @12:02PM (#35020646) Homepage

    ...and Sony are claiming that it will be “as powerful” as a PlayStation 3.

    Sorry, but in no universe is the Cortex-A9 'as powerful' as a PlayStation 3's CBE.

    • "Sorry, but in no universe is the Cortex-A9 'as powerful' as a PlayStation 3's CBE."

      When you're done with your multi-dimensional transportation device, could I borrow it so that I can go to Ultimate Lesbian Model World, please? :)

    • Considering that a 4-core Cortex-A9 isn't even in the wild yet let alone benchmarks how can you make this assertion. Also when it comes to a console the GPU matters more than the CPU and similarly there is no current way to compare the Quad Core PowerVR SGX543MP4+ against the PS3.
  • by JustAnotherIdiot ( 1980292 ) on Thursday January 27, 2011 @12:05PM (#35020678)
    ...was showing that it won't be using the UMD, but what looked like an SD card of sorts. I'm excited about this mostly because the UMD is terribly annoying, it sounds like the PSP is snorting every time a game loads from it.
    • I would hear a Sony boy complain about something using optical media. Maybe there is hope game systems will move away from media that requires load times again. :3

  • will the built-in 3G make it fall under the law that says you can hack a phone to any network and to run any app?

    So sony can't sue you

    Let's say it's at&t data only and you hack it to run on t mobile what will sony do about that?

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