NGP: Everything you need to know

What is the Next Generation Portable?

It’s the successor to Sony’s PlayStation Portable. It has a five-inch OLED touch screen with dual thumbsticks, a rear touch-sensitive panel and front and rear cameras. It also uses a Sixaxis motion sensor, Bluetooth and GPS. It boasts PS3-like graphics. It will be available in two SKUs – one with wi-fi and 3G, and another with wi-fi only.

What games can I expect for it?

Sony has announced Uncharted, Killzone, Hot Shots Golf, Resistance, Smart As, Broken, Wipeout, Gravity Daze, Little Deviants, Reality Fighters and LittleBigPlanet. Third party games include Metal Gear Solid 4, Call of Duty, Dynasty Warriors, Monster Hunter Portable 3, Lost Planet 2, Dungeon Defenders and Yakuza 4.

Is it going to use UMD or is it digital-only?

Neither. Sony is using a new flash-style memory medium that not only holds the full game, but can be used to store DLC and game saves. The PlayStation Store can also be accessed to download games, while titles for PlayStation Suite can also be played on NGP.

What on earth is PlayStation Suite?

It’s a content delivery platform that allows users to play PlayStation titles on Android handsets. It’s the first time in the firm’s history that Sony has offered PlayStation games on an open operating system. Original PSone games will be made available via the Suite this year, while a PlayStation Store will also be opened.
Developers can also produce new content specifically for the Suite, which can also be accessed on the Next Generation Portable.

Any other features I need to know about?

Well, there’s LiveArea – a section in every NGP title – which gives users access to the latest game information. Also, players can view a constantly updated activity log, which details accomplishments from other gamers playing the same game. You can then directly communicate with these players.

There’s also a location-based service called Near which is is pre-installed onto the NGP. This allows users to find out what people in the vicinity are playing and lets them meet up virtually.

What publishers have signed up?

Rockstar, Epic Games, Ubisoft, 2K Games, Capcom, Konami, Level-5, Square Enix, Sega, Warner, PopCap, Namco Bandai, Team 17, Codemasters and more are all producing NGP games. In total there are over 75 confirmed third party developers.

What about the PlayStation Phone?

MCV sources have told us the device will be unveiled at Mobile World Congress, which takes place on Monday, February 14th.

When is it due out?

There’s no definite date yet, but it will launch later this year.

When can I expect to hear more?

More details are expected at GDC in San Francisco, which begins on Monday, February 28th. You can expect the final details to be announced at E3 and Gamescom.

What are the technical specifications for NGP?

CPU: ARM Cortex™-A9 core
(4 core)
External Dimensions: 182mm wide x 83.5mm high x 18.6mm deep (excluding largest projection)
Screen: Five inches (16:9), 960 x 544, approximately 16 million colours, OLED multi-touch screen
Rear: Multi-touch pad
Cameras: Front and rear
Sound: Built-in stereo speakers and built-in microphone
Sensors: Sixaxis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer), three-axis electronic compass
Location: Built-in GPS, wi-fi location service support
Keys and 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 = 11), wi-fi (Infrastructure mode/Ad-hoc mode), Bluetooth 2.1+EDR A2DP/AVRCP/HSP

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