SCEI president Kazuo Hirai today unveiled the successor to Sony's PSP handheld video game system, codenamed the Next Generation Portable (NGP), which boasts 3G support on one model and a multicore CPU and is due for release in Japan this holiday season.
At the PlayStation Meeting 2011 event in central Tokyo, Hirai detailed the system's specs which include two analog sticks, a multi-touch pad on the rear, a front touch display, a five-inch OLED screen, both 3G and Wi-Fi capabilities, sixaxis motion controls and a physical media slot.
The handheld will use a flash-based media, dedicated for NGP software titles, which can store the full game along with save data content and add-on game content.
The system also boasts a number of features that will be familiar to owners of Apple's iPhone 4, including front and rear cameras and three motion sensors: a gyroscope, an accelerometer and an electronic compass.
Following Hirai's announcement, Shuhei Yoshida, President of SCE Worldwide Studios, unveiled the first batch of first party games due for release on the system, including Call of Duty, Killzone, Hustle Kings, Reality Fighters, Gravity Daze, Hot Shots Golf, LittleBigPlanet, Wipeout, Resistance
A number of third-party demonstrations, including Hideo Kojima with Metal Gear Solid
and Tim Sweeney with Epic's Unreal Engine 3, were also showcased.
Although the core NGP content supplied on flash-based physical media only plays on the handheld, the system will also interface with PlayStation Suite, a cross-platform framework that will bring PlayStation content to Android mobile devices -- also announced at today's press conference.
All PS Suite titles will be playable on the new handheld, a bid by Sony to bring together the kind of 'snack' gaming that typifies the contemporary mobile phone market with more substantial console-esque experiences on a single handheld device.
Sony has launched an official site
for the event featuring the full NGP specs, photographs and a concept video.
: An English-language press release
has added more detail on some of the built-in software features of NGP. In particular, every NGP game title has a networked high scores and information application called 'LiveArea' built in.
Sony will also provide location-based services on NGP as part of the basic features utilizing PlayStation Network. The new application is called 'Near,' and ships with all NGPs, which are 3G enabled, to find out what their friends in the vicinity are playing now or what they were playing recently.
Users "can meet their friends and new players virtually, regardless of what games they are playing, simply by sharing their game information across different dimensions of time and distance."]