Sony intros Next-Generation Portable with ARM-based CPU

Sony intros Next-Generation Portable with ARM-based CPU 1

Sony intros Next-Generation Portable with ARM-based CPU 2

At a press conference in Japan earlier today, Sony introduced the successor to the PSP, codenamed the Next Generation Portable, or NGP. Specs for the new gaming handheld include a 5-inch OLED touchscreen with 960×544 resolution, 3G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, compass, and GPS, and two cameras, one front- and one rear-facing. As expected, the device is powered by a multi-core ARM processor—a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9—that works alongside a quad-core PowerVR SGX534MP4+ GPU. Notably, code found within the iOS 4.3 beta suggested that Apple is planning to include a similar POWERVR SGX543 GPU from Imagination Technologies in an upcoming product or products, and as the successor to the ARM Cortex-A8 at the heart of Apple’s A4 chip, the A9 is a logical next step for Apple’s iOS devices.

In addition, the NGP features a rear touch-sensitive panel, dual analog sticks, a traditional d-pad, four Playstation action buttons, a six-axis motion detecting system, and shoulder trigger buttons. Games will be offered on flash memory-based cards or downloaded from the Playstation Store; Sony also announced that it will be launching PlayStation Suite, a new initiative that will see certain Android devices become PlayStation Certified, allowing them to play PlayStation games; the company also plans to open a PlayStation Store for Android where users will be able to download content directly to their device.

  1. And now…


    Horns blowing …

    USD 400,-


    Battery life should be OK however since it’s almost 5 times the thickness of an iPod touch 4G.

  2. I honestly think there is still a solid market for a dedicated portable gaming system. The iPod Touch, iPad and iPhone have taken a lot of the wind out of Sony and Nintendo’s sails, but there are some reasons to consider something like this.

    While the touch only interface offered in the iDevices is fine for simpler games, I actually prefer the hardware controls for many more intricate games (SOCOM games would not translate well to touch only). You give up screen area to have dedicated touch controls in many of the shooters. This is compounded when you have to keep your fingers/thumbs in place hovering over these controls. Not such a negative on the larger iPad screen, but quite a substantial negative on the Touch and iPhone.

  3. @3: Exactly. I love my touch for what it is, I cringe at the anemic system specs Nintendo is using for their 3DS system, I’ve been less than impressed with the past value and quality of Sony’s portables and games, but, on paper, I like this. Touch controls can never replace the precision and control of a dedicated gaming machine.

    All of which makes me wonder why Apple just doesn’t do something as simple/brilliant as create a set of APIs for game controls AND a reasonably priced “cradle” a touch or iPhone would snap into (give it a beefy battery pack while they’re at it) with true d-pad(s) and buttons. You plug a compatible iOS device into the game cradle and, poof, emulated hardware controls for games using these APIs disappear from the game screen and get overridden by the true hardware controls. Don’t have the cradle, that’s ok, games continue as they have with the emulated, screen hogging virtual sticks and buttons.

    Apple wants to give me physical controls and I’ll probably never need to look at Nintendo and Sony’s products again, but so long as I’m stuck with virtual d-pads and half my screen covered by these virtual controls, eh, it’s good for what it is, but it’s not a satisfying solution.

  4. This reminds me of the difference between wii
    users and XBOX 360 or PS3 users; while the wii
    and iPod touch are quite inferior to their
    beastly counterparts, Apple and Nintendo have
    tapped into a very lucrative market with their
    casual gaming appeal. To each their own.

  5. It looks amazing. I will buy one unless it’s just outlandishly priced (which, let’s face it, is quite likely given Sony’s history).

    That’s an awful lot of processing power for a handheld. The battery life will definitely be a concern but the lineup of potential games should be stellar. Looking forward to it.

  6. Very much looking forward to this I still have my original PSP still going strong. While some might argue that the Smartphone has taken over the mobile game market. If this is as powerful as Sony are saying it is and if all the features (3g, gps, accelerometer etc…) are well integrated this is going to be one hell of a system.

  7. Well I don’t deny that I’m a gamer. I currently own a Game Boy Color (sentimental, don’t play), a PSP 2000, a PSP Go, a PS3, and a iPhone 4.

    I’m definitely going to get this and gonna sell my PSP Go to get it. I thought originally that I would use my iPhone as my main device when I’m not at home with my PS3 but surprisingly, I don’t play any iPhone games that much anymore since I don’t think the iPhone as a gaming devices.

  8. I love my PSP, and I love my iPod touch. And after seeing this new PSP (you know its going to be called the PSP2 or something like that, come on…) I know I’m going to love this one as well.

    Not to mention I’m quite happy that all my PSN downloaded PSP/PS1 games will be fully compatible with this device. A good thing, since all but three of my PSP games are PSN downloads anyway!

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