Sony has finally announced during a media event in Tokyo tonight that the "Next Generation Portable" or the successor to the PlayStation Portable is a reality and that it should be hitting the stores this holiday season. The device looks like a slimmer PSP but with things that that the Nintendo 3DS is lacking: a dual analogue stick setup, a double touch sensor located both on the game screen and on the back of the handheld, a really advanced hardware that is supposedly as powerful as the PlayStation 3, and a high resolution OLED display (4x the current PSP resolution, so that's up to 1080p... Freaking unbelievable! - Update Note 01/27/2011: It looks like it's only going to be limited to 960 x 544 so PS3 graphics my butt, well that's disappointing). These things are enough to convince me to hold off on spending anything on the 3DS the way that it is designed currently and that whole dual-stick thing on this new PSP, just wait... It will get implemented into the "improved" 3DS - didn't you notice the big empty space at the bottom right hand corner of the 3DS that just begs to be used as a place to implant the second analogue stick?
Click here to learn more about the NGP.
There are some troubling things that came with the announcement however. Firstly, there are not enough new games shown available for it. It looks like the new handheld will get a new Uncharted but other than that, he other games like Monster Hunter and Yakuza are ports of previously released games. Then, there's the concern over game storage. Apparently, the NGP will be using direct digital download distribution (hooray!) and if they really want to accomplish PS3 quality visuals and experience, that's a lot of GB to think about. Lastly, the NGP will be hooked up to a persistent 3G network connection: What does this mean? Do we have to pay a monthly service fee to play this thing or will that 3G service come free with the system? It is disappointing however that this thing will not be backwards compatible with UMDs but will the NGP be able to play the old digital PSP games? What I am really curious about is this: Will we be able to play anything we get for the PS3 from the PlayStation Store on the NGP and vice versa? The price and exact release date was not revealed during the show. I hope we will get that information soon. My guess? This thing will probably cost $299.99. Knowing Sony though, they do have the balls to even push that price all the way up to $349.99. We will just have to wait and see.