At 3pm local time in Japan, representatives from Sony Computer Entertainment announced two future Sony products. As expected, they unveiled their next-generation portable gaming device, codenamed “Next Generation Portable” (or NGP). It’s possible that you’ve not only heard this already from a variety of sources, but you also may be facing a deluge of statistics, facts, pictures, videos, and opinions of this new device. If not, you should definitely check out the official announcement and the hardware specifications. Let us focus on what we know about this new handheld that pertains to those of us who enjoy our Playstation Network content.
The first big takeaway is that, with all its fancy new bells and whistles, the NGP supports everything digital from the PSP. This means PSN games, PSone Classics, and even minis that you’ve already purchased will be accessible and playable on the new handheld. UMDs do not appear to be supported, as the NGP will use “small, dedicated flash memory-based cards” for its physical games. No word on internal memory size or Memory Stick support, so it’s unclear just how much of your digital collection can be kept on the device.
“Near” is a new idea that marries the NGP’s GPS with the Playstation Network for a greater focus on the world around you. By keeping track of your location and the location of other NGPs, the Near app will tell you what games are popular in your area (and let you buy them through the same interface) as well as connect with local gamers you may not have otherwise met. I’ll take this over Foursquare any day.
It’s no surprise that major console franchises like Uncharted and Call of Duty are being announced for the NGP, but there are some far more interesting titles being developed that caught our attention. Dungeon Defenders was shown running on the new handheld and utilizing both the physical controls and the touchscreen in unison. Trendy Entertainment reports they had ported the PS3 build of Dungeon Defenders to the NGP in under a week. Hustle Kings was also visible in one of the sizzle reels. The list of developers working on NGP titles includes Capybara Games, Frima Studio, Just Add Water, Sidhe Interactive, Team 17, and Zen Studios.
Still to be announced are launch titles, battery performance, and price. Check out the official shots of this sexy device, and sound off in the comments.
[Source: Sony Computer Entertainment America]