Sony PSP2 officially revealed as the Next Generation Portable (NGP)

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Sony’s new handheld games console has officially been revealed. Dropping the PSP moniker, it will be known as the Sony NGP (Next Generation Portable).

Unveiled at the company’s PlayStation Meeting 2011, the handheld is a surprising mix of features we’ve previously seen rumoured and brand new ideas.

Similar in design to the original PSP, it comes packing in a 5-inch OLED touchscreen running at a resolution of 960 x 544, four times sharper than the current Sony handhelds. Graphics for games will get a massive jump thanks to the introduction of a four-core CPU (ARM CortexTM-A9) and SGX543MP4+ GPU. Two analouge sticks feature in the 182.0 x 18.6 x 83.5mm unit, with the same Six-axis motion sensing system as seen in PS3 controllers.

Connectivity comes not only from Wi-Fi, but also a 3G connection, as well as Bluetooth 2.1. A new app style grid interface called LiveArea is used for navigating menus and acccessing the online PlayStation Network Store for DLC, though Sony are sticking with physical media for games in the shape of proprietary memory cards. Front and rear cameras will allow for Augmented Reality gaming, as well as photo snapping.

“Touch, Grab, Trace, Push, Pull,” is Sony’s tagline for the NGP, which refers to the intriguing touchpanel that sits on the rear of the device. Gestures and taps can be used alongside the physical buttons to potentially allow for thousands of commands per game.

The NGP will also feature a new cross platform initiative called PlayStation Suite, which will allow games to be played across select Android smartphones as well as the NGP console.

Little news on what games are set for release yet, but a showreel that included Killzone, Reality Fighters, Smart As, Broken, LBP, Little Deviants, WipEout, Resistance, Hot Shots Golf, Gravity Daze and Uncharted was played. President of SCE Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida showed a brief playable area of an Uncharted game that featured both touch and motion controls.

The Sony NGP is expected to launch this winter, likely in Japan before the rest of the world.

Gerald Lynch

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