As expected, Sony dropped a bomb on journalists at last night's press conference in the form of the PSP2. Only it wasn't actually called the PSP2. Perhaps looking to get away from the mild disaster that was the original PSP, a system that was riddled with hacks and generally lacked a compelling software lineup, Sony has nicknamed their newest handheld system the NGP, or the Next Generation Portable. Well that's... catchy.
More appealing than the name are the technical specs. The system, as Sony representatives reminded us, has been designed with five ideas in mind: A revolutionary user interface, social connectivity, location-based entertainment, converging real and virtual, and Playstation Suite compatibility. Ok, so that sounds nice and fancy, but it is basically gibberish without stats to back it up. And luckily, stats we have. First and foremost, the system will come complete with two analog sticks, a feature requested by fans since the genesis of the PSP. A gorgeous 5-inch OLED screen sits between the analog sticks, screening video at an impressive 960x544 resolution, which is four times that of the PSP's already-gorgeous screen.
The wireless features are even more impressive. Sony's NGP will include 3G, Wi-fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. These new features should be easily navigable thanks not only to the touch screen, but also the rear touchpad or the same Sixaxis technology that Sony utilizes in its PS3 controllers. The system also features a three-axis compass. Finally, the device will feature both front and rear cameras.
Whew, that's a lot to take in. Sony has certainly taken the "kitchen sink" approach to console design, and there are so many cool features here that it would be easy to forget that this is primarily a gaming platform. Wisely, Sony has ditched its failed UMDs in favor of flash-based cards. This sounds like an interesting way to distribute new games.
Full technical specs have been released by Sony and are listed below.
CPU: ARM Cortex-A9 core (4 core)
External Dimensions: Approx. 182.0 x 18.6 x 83.5mm (width x height x depth) (tentative, excludes largest projection)
Screen: 5 inches (16:9), 960 x 544, Approx. 16 million colors, OLED
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