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Sony pegs NGP for “2011″ in London, drops mega-details

Friday, 4th February 2011 14:10 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

New information regarding Sony’s NGP emerged in London yesterday during a private presentation to around 20 UK-based developers. According to one of the attendees, Sony outlined its marketing plans for the first five years of the handheld, as well as providing extra details on its hardware specs and networking features.

Extra NGP Details

Sony wants titles that’ll work on both PS3 and NGP.

Uncharted, Little Deviants and WipEout HD shown running in London.

Games run at 60 frames per second.

Both front and back panels capable of six-point multi-touch.

Wi-Fi plus 3G expected “holiday 2011.”

Analysts expect it to retail between $299-$349 in the US.

Q&A – NGP

The developer, speaking anonymously to Eurogamer, said Sony plans to focus on the core during NGP’s first year on the market before changing its focus to “hardcore and teens” during year two. Beyond that, Sony expects the audience to expand into younger and older demographics.

According to the source, development kits weren’t handed out at the event due to “late shipments from Japan,” and that in order for a studio to be given one before April, the team must submit a “20-page concept document on a game they want to release at launch”. Development kits have been in the hands of UK studios for quite some time, but the new kits being described by the source will be the firt ones with “the final GPU in them.”

Titles demoed at the event Uncharted, Little Deviants and WipEout HD, with the source stating the later was running on the game’s PS3 engine with “no changes to the art platform.”

“That means full resolution, full 60 frames per second. It looks exactly the same as it does on PS3 – all the shader effects are in there,” said the source, adding that Sony wants developers to create titles which will work on both PS3 and NGP. In order to streamline this, Sony has made the submission process easier, with only a single submission required for either system; however, the platform holder also doesn’t want “exactly the same game,” on both systems, stating there “has to be a reason for the NGP title,” yet contain interactivity between the two versions with NGP-only extras.

NGP games shown running on the system.

“NGP is a developer’s dream – Sony is finally doing the things developers have been crying out for for years,” said Eurogamer’s source. “All games at launch available on flash [the physical storage medium] would also be on PSN.

“Any shaders for PS3 stuff will just work. We won’t have to rewrite. What would have taken two-to-three months before looks like it could take just one-to-two weeks now. The architecture is obviously different, but it’s the same development environment.

“Sony has made [NGP] completely developer-centric this time. [The development kit] is really simple to plug in and use. It opens direct in Windows Explorer and you can see all systems on a network – so you could, for example, update the firmware of multiple NGPs at once.

“A PS3 dev station can take three hours to set-up. This looks like it will take under 20 mins. It just makes everything easier – they’ve really thought about it this time”.

The source also confirmed that NGP contains three gyroscopes compared to the PS3′s controller, and combined with front and rear touch panels capable of six-point multi-touch, which will allow more accurate movements. Sony demonstrated this by showing a person “squeezing an in-game object,” by pinching the front and back at the same time.

“NGP is a developer’s dream”

“The touch pad on the back is fantastic,” said the source. “It does feel second nature, like you’re having a real impact on the world.”

Social and location-based features were touched on, so were “virtual gifts,” like “new skins and avatars”.

Sony also told attendees that a date and price for the system would be announced soon, and the rumored “cloud saving” feature was not confirmed by SCEE despite being brought up by developers.

NGP was announced last week in Japan, and the general consensus is that it will see a retail release in time for Christmas shopping. During the event, Sony hinted that the Wi-Fi edition would be released this year, and the Wi-Fi plus 3G system would be the one hitting around the holidays.

Earlier today, EEDAR estimated that the Wi-Fi only version would retail in the US between $299 and $349 “but not to exceed $399.”

Breaking news

24 Comments

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  1. monkeygourmet

    I hope this is so… The PS2 and PS3 sounded like they were a bitch to program so this is def a step in the right direction. Im still confused on how they will market this though… If a developer wanted to make a new Syphon Filter game for example, why would you want to squeeze that into the NGP rather than go the whole hog and make it for the PS3 when the costs are still gonna be pretty high for both? Now that you have a handheld that sounds practically comparable in horsepower to a home machine won’t it lose some of the unique games you tend to see on portable machines?

    #1 3 years ago
  2. naffgeek

    I actually think the camera, touchpads and gyroscopes will make for some pretty unique games.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Blerk

    Blimey, it actually sounds like they’re getting it right for a change! Would the real Sony please stand up? :-D

    #3 3 years ago
  4. monkeygourmet

    @2

    I suppose that the NGP can technically play host to a whole range of games, simple iphone-like puzzle games upto PS3 style blockbusters. It just seems like Sony are pushing the whole “It’s like having a portable PS3″ thing too hard. I enjoyed playing God of War on my PSP because it felt quite cool to have a PS2 quality game on a portable, but the wow factor quickly wore out when i realised it was the same game i’d already played twice before at home on a big screen in the comfort of my living room. I enjoy the seperation of home to portable console gaming, and i hope that Sony aren’t going to far down the road to bridging that gap and making the experience more stale. I guess im in the minority who doesn’t want to take games like Call of Duty, Killzone out with them when there sitting on a bus/train… Especially not enough to pay a premium price for the pleasure

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Psychotext

    “I actually think the camera, touchpads and gyroscopes will make for some pretty unique games.”

    I hope so, because right now it seems like most people are talking about porting over PS3 games… and I’ve got absolutely no interest in playing PS3 games on a handheld.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. TheViking

    I call bullshit. Why? I heard the same about the PS3. “It will run 1080p@60FPS”. Then Sony mocked the xbox 360 for not having 1080p support. What do we see today? All new Xbox 360 games support 1080p (yes, I know it’s just upscaling) and very few PS3 games do.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Tallon 4

    Day fuckin’ one!

    #7 3 years ago
  8. frostquake

    Looking good with every news update. The Only Concern I have as of right now with it, is the Porting of PS3 Games to it. If they do basically the same game with just one extra level, then that would be harmful. But, if they tie it in with a whole new story, that would be great.

    I like the way the PSP game Resistance: Retribution on the PSP impacted your Character on Resistance 2 on the PS3, it just didn’t go deep enough..but if they continue to dive deeper…it could really help both!

    #8 3 years ago
  9. xino

    @TheViking!

    exactly. PS3 can do multitasking before it was released and in final product it can’t!

    however not all xbox 360 games run in 720p. But the big ones are “AAA”

    #9 3 years ago
  10. The_Red

    @9
    What are you talking about? Every console released in the last 20 years suppords multi tasking. The harder and more thing thing that most can’t do is multi threading but even then, I’m pretty sure Cell’s architecture allow multi threading as well.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. The_Red

    God I miss “edit” button :(
    “The harder and more important thing”
    “allows multi threading as well”

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Crysis

    Developers use Windows? :O

    #12 3 years ago
  13. spiderLAW

    @12
    Yes
    And even some artists too.
    I do :)

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Crysis

    Hmm, I assumed Windows was only useful for gamers & the common man, but not developers & such, just always figured Linux would be better suited for that kind of shit…

    #14 3 years ago
  15. earlyrock

    Sony, this is how you should of been rolling for the past 5 years. Get the devs happy, make it easy, bend over backwards for them.

    Glad to hear its looking decent.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. mojo

    12. what else?
    restricted macos? unsupported linux? BSD?

    #16 3 years ago
  17. mojo

    @ article. Sounds rather promising!
    all it needs now is telephone function and im sold day one.
    without it im propably still are.. :D

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Crysis

    @16, I’m sure all non-Windows tools should be available on Linux, so yeah, i would have figured Linux.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Gama_888

    @17 agreed, phone functions would sell this to me instantly, but sony allready said there trying to stay away from that

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Crysis

    Well it’ll have skype so you can make video calls to mates who also have skype from anywhere you are, but the data charges will be scary expensive.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Bloodyghost

    If its 250 then I will kill a hoe over one

    If its 300 then I would buy it fast

    If its 350 then I would wait

    If its 400 I would give Sony the finger.

    Also PLEASE let there be no 3G tied to a network like AT and T

    #21 3 years ago
  22. Crysis

    May just have a slot for a Micro Sim card, although it’s likely that 3G models maybe sold (& locked) by only providers. I just don’t give a fuck about 3G, too fucking expensive & definitely not worth the price.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. spiderLAW

    @22
    If NGP were your only console…3G wouldnt be so steep.
    Playing online on PC and PS3, paying for 3G for portable is stupid.

    Anyways…not sure how it works in Aussie but everything in US is dedicated. They will have to choose a provider here and if people want it on another provider, they will have to find a way to unlock it like a phone. Micro sim really hasnt caught on over here, not that im aware of anyways. I dont work for mobile providers anymore :(

    #23 3 years ago
  24. Crysis

    Some providers normally snap up slightly cheaper deals for mobile phones/gadgets, but there’s almost always an unlocked version of whatever phone/gadget you can think of, not sure about you Americans, but I believe most of our providers here are starting to sell regular sims that can detach from their outer casing & form a Micro Sim(same thing, different shape), well I do know my provider, Optus, at least does it, so if i bought an iPad (with micro sim slot) i could snap part of my sim & chuck it in there for 3G browsing (fucking expensive here, i believe 15 cents per MB, but i was on Facebook for half an hour & got charged $50, no way did I use over 300mb in 30mins just on FB)

    #24 3 years ago