Last night, around 1AM EST, Sony revealed plans for a new Hot Shots Golf title. For those of you who don't know, I'm an absolute Hot Shots junkie. Unfortunately, there wasn't really very much to talk about beyond that the game was in development. To pass the rest of the time alotted for the press conference, Sony also revealed to the world the PSP2 NGP, their brand-new handheld gaming system. I guess they figured, "Hey, we've got all these gaming press members here today, let's give them something to talk about."
Since I'm sure the rest of you didn't have to dig your way out of your house to find the internet today, we're going to keep this brief. The most important part of the announcement is that the NGP is going to come complete with dual analog sticks. Sony's new handheld will also have built-in 3G (at least some models anyway), an OLED touchscreen, two cameras, Sixaxis controls, and a slew of other features, which you can read about in the nice little collection of bullet points below.
- Multi-touch 5-inch organic light emitting display (OLED) as the front display
- Multi-touch pad on the rear of the device
- Dual analog sticks
- Two cameras (front and rear)
- Software titles on small, dedicated flash memory-based cards
- Three motion sensors, gyroscope, accelerometer and electronic compass
- Wi-Fi and 3G network connectivity
- PlayStation Network access, including ““LiveArea™”, “Near” and “Activity” log features Trophy Support
- NGP will be able to play PSP titles, minis, PS one classics, video and comics from the PlayStation Store.
I'm excited about what built-in 3G could mean for multiplayer gaming, but I'm also wary of how slow and laggy connections will be. And if you live in a big city like Philly or NYC? Trying to use a phone there is bad enough, let alone trying to play some deathmatch in Killzone. Oh right, Sony revealed a whole host of solid first-party titles including, among others, Hot Shots, Killzone, Uncharted, and LittleBigPlanet. Here's another little collection of wonderful bullet points illustrating games already in development for the system.
- Call of Duty
- Little Deviants
- Hot Shots Golf
- Reality Fighters
- Gravity Daze
- Smart As
- Hustle Kings
Hey, look at that. Another Hustle Kings. Can't wait to never play that. Anyway, I'm sure there are a few of you out there who care about things like technical specifications. I'm not a very tech-savvy guy, but I know that this thing is going to be powerful. And let's not pretend that the final name for the NGP is actually going to be NGP. We all know Sony's just going to call it the PSP2 eventually. Or hell, they might even call it the PSPNG. I can hear customers all over the world walking into Gamestops now. "Yo, man," they'll say. "Lemme get one a dem PSPNG johns." Just rolls right off the tongue. Where were we? Oh right. Tech specs.
CPU ARM® Cortex™-A9 core (4 core)
Approx. 182.0 x 18.6 x 83.5mm (width x height x depth) (tentative, excludes largest projection)
(Touch screen) 5 inches (16:9), 960 x 544, Approx. 16 million colors, OLED
Multi touch screen (capacitive type)
Rear touch pad
Multi touch pad (capacitive type)
Front camera, Rear camera
Built-in stereo speakers
Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer), Three-axis electronic compass
Wi-Fi location service support
Keys / Switches
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 (+/-)
Mobile network connectivity (3G)
IEEE 802.11b/g/n (n = 1×1) (Wi-Fi) (Infrastructure mode/Ad-hoc mode)
Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR （A2DP/AVRCP/HSP）
Sure is a lot of fancy mumbo-jumbo, isn't it? So where does all of this information leave us? Well, there's currently no price point, or talk of battery life. There's been a rumor of $1000 bandied about, but that's just Gamestop guesstimating. It's not official, and is likely just setting the bar high so the company doesn't have to shuffle their feet when the real MSRP comes out, and they've priced it too low. There's also word that a Metal Gear Solid and Yakuza are in the works for the system, though those may just be ports. Perhaps the final element to discuss then is that of what form the games will take. Well, UMDs are out, and Flash-based memory cards are in. The advantages of memory sticks/cards is that the size can change depending on the game, so developers won't be constricted to one particular size like they were on UMD. Now all sorts of information can be included, and games won't have to be nerfed in order to run on Sony's handheld.
That there pretty much sums up the major points involved with the NGP. I'm sure there's going to a lot more revealed in the coming months, and particularly at E3. For now, I'm pretty excited though. The console looks sharp, and with all the initial support it's going to get, I have a feeling the handheld war that was so dominantly held by Nintendo is about to change drastically.