January 27, 2011

Sony Announces ‘NGP’ Handheld Game System

The successor to the Sony PSP handheld gaming device will be touch screen enabled, will be the first portable system to feature 3G connectivity, and will go on sale later this year, the Japanese electronics and entertainment titan announced on Thursday.

The new platform is currently known as the "Next Generation Portable" PlayStation, or NGP, and according to AFP reports, will feature "a five-inch organic light-emitting diode (OLED) touch screen, a GPS receiver, a motion sensor and a rear panel touchpad to control certain actions, as well as navigation buttons and a joystick."

The company has not revealed an official release date for the device, but told reporters attending a special media event in Tokyo that it would be on store shelves in time for the holiday season.

According to the Guardian's Game Blog, the NGP "is aimed at established gamers who want console-quality gaming experiences on the go. It will compete directly against Nintendo's 3DS console, which features a less powerful processor but offers glasses-free 3D viewing. The 3DS will be out in the UK in March, while the NGP is likely to arrive in late autumn."

The NGP will use "a small flash memory-based card" as its primary mode of storage, according to the Guardian. Officials from Sony told the newspaper's Game Blog that the card will be able to "store the full software titles plus add-on game content or the game save data directly on to the card," and that the "innovative" new storage media "will be able to provide game cards with higher capacity in the future, allowing developers to store more game data to deliver rich and immersive games."

The OLED screen is capable of producing "image quality about four times better than the current PSP," AP Business Writer Yuri Kageyama wrote on Thursday.

A demo from the popular PlayStation franchise Uncharted was on display at the event, according to the Guardian, and Sony has already confirmed that new entries in the Killzone, Wipeout, LittleBigPlanet, Resistance, and Hot Shots Golf are en route to the NGP.

The MSRP of the forthcoming handheld device was not revealed, however.

Also at the event, Sony announced plans to bring "PlayStation quality" games to Android-powered mobile devices, according to the Guardian. Those titles will be available through an application known as PlayStation Suite, which also will be available by year's end.


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