Impressions: Next Gen Portable

Posted by Pesico
Jan 28 2011

The PlayStation Meeting 2011 took place in Japan at 7AM Norwegian time. SCEE tweeted that they would cover the presentation for early birds. I myself was a late bird as I stayed up until the show started and followed it with excitement.

First out was PS Suite which will make PlayStation software available on Android devices. It’s great, but I prefer the iPhone so it would be quite the disappointment for me if that was all that was going to be talked about. Luckily for me, they moved on to announce the successor to the PSP, and it wasn’t the PSP 2. They only have a working title for it at the moment, which is NGP, or Next Gen Portable. Wonder what they will end up calling it, but that’s far from important at this time.

NGP from the front

There had been lots of rumours dating back at least a year, and with the PSPgo announcement in memory, I had an attitude towards it like, will it all be true? Turned out Sony was ready to impress an entire gaming world, because what they had to show made me scream like a little girl (at least from the inside).

Uncharted franchise? Check. Close to the graphics of the PS3? Check. Trophies? Check. Resistance franchise? Check. Dual analog sticks? Check. And most importantly, the dual analog sticks aren’t like the images we’ve seen show up lately. They are actual analog sticks like on the Dual Shock, only smaller of course. The screen is bigger and it’s a capacitive touch screen. Not only that, as the rumors suggested, there is a touch sensitive panel on the back of the device, which opens up a lot of possibilities for game developers, shown off by the Uncharted demo. You could use the back of the device to climb up ropes for example without pushing buttons. The best thing is that there are still conventional button inputs so you can chose what you want yourself.

In stead of the XMB which we know from both the PS3 and PSP, as well as a bunch of other Sony products is not going to be used. In stead they will have an interface called LiveArea, and it will be easy to go from the game to LiveArea and back again. With 3G capabilities in addition to WiFi, you will be able to be online on the go, at any time. Taking great use of that is Near, which will tell you what people near you are playing, and you can get easy access from there to buy those games on the PlayStation Store. There is also a service called Activity, which will store accomplishments as well as trophies, and you’ll be able to see what you’re friends are doing as well as comment on it.

With a camera on both the front and the rear of the device, as well as gyroscope, there is no end to what gaming experiences you can get on the NGP. I’m sure we’ll see whole host of augmented reality based games.

Even with all the rumors out there, Sony managed to surprise me, in a very good way. I now know that I just have to get the NGP. They had me at Uncharted, but I do love that it will have trophy support. And the power of this beat makes it able to churn out PS3 like graphics. I wonder how much this will cost, but I’m sure of one thing. I’m getting it!

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