GDC: NGP panel showcases new Uncharted footage, more

Thursday, 3rd March 2011 04:13 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

During a programming and game design session at GDC this week, David Coombes, platform research manager at SCEA showed off more on NGP’s features and software.

IGN captured this footage at the event.

Coomes, who has worked at Sony since 1995 knows of what he speaks, as he previously helped launch PSP and PS3 and spends his time at the firm researching future technology.

In his presentation today, not only did he introduce the handheld, but he also chatted about NGP’s “broad range of input and connectivity options,” and and how these create new opportunities for designers.

The Hardware

After going over the hardware stats for NGP, Coomes talked about the differences between the single core PSP and the four symmetrical cores in NGP – three of which are used for applications and similar to PC.

He also compared PSP’s memory card to NGP’s, stating it has much more memory and was close in size to PS3, yet he said he could not go into specifics on it at the present. It also has more RAM than PSP, and while the battery life is important, it will not run as high or hard as PS3 in order to conserve the battery life.

To show off the programmable shaders in the hardware, Little Deviants was shown running on the handheld.

Creating games for NGP

Coomes said Sony plans to support a diverse library of titles for NGP, from “the biggest triple-A down to the minis.”

Since the handheld was designed with developers in mind, Sony is making it easy to import over existing PS3 and even Xbox 360 assets. Models, shaders, and textures have been simplified in order to tailor to the mobile experience, yet maintain architecture similar to PC and PS3.

Some Hardware stats

4 core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore

5-inch OLED capacitive touchscreen

543 MHz SGX543MP4+

Six-axis motion sensing

Three-axis electronic compass

D-pad, Buttons, Dual Analog sticks

Front camera, rear camera

Input Schemes

Buttons and touch screens allow for a wide range of options and allow use of the right interface for a wide range of options.

Tactile feedback in buttons is always important due to the responsiveness and preciseness games feel when using them, and since touch is intuitive, spatial and not so reactive, it was important to include buttons on NGP as well as the addition of the dual touch screens.

With buttons, a person does not have too necessarily look down at their fingers, where as with touch, they are forced to.

Coomes said during the touch portion of the talk, here, that NGP has different strength readers and can read by skin type be it course, light, or heavy.

The camera

The camera can record the player when paying a game and show the player what they did through a replay function, or the video can be shown and shared on YouTube.

NGP can even use the camera to take a picture of the player, and implement it into the game to keep track of the character’s health. Shown on screen was a fella’s general progression from normal, to a man with a black eye and band-aides on his face.

The camera can also collect texture, use feature detection, track invisible markers and use EyePet.

Augmented reality demo

Tsutomu Horikawa, director of the software solutions and development department at SOEI in Tokyo was on hand at the talk to give a demonstration of how augmented reality works with NGP.

NGP game engines



Unreal Engine

Infernal Engine


Vicious Engine

First, he used a sock monkey, which was shown jumping around on a PS3 game box, which was also full of sock monkeys.

After this, Horikawa san showed a T-Rex render walking around on a PC screen, which was created using augmented reality. To show how this works with NGP, Horikawa got up from his chair, walked into the audience, and scanned a picture of the T-Rex lying in the aisle-way.

Then, after taking a photo of it, he showed the NGP screen to the crowd, and there was this massive T-Rex standing in the midst of all of us, baring his teeth and looking around. It was rather cool.

NGP’s camera can also detect and track heads and shoulders, which Sony said was a bit hard to accomplish because people have a tendency to move around, so continuously smooth tracking is a bit hard, and it makes it harder when there isn’t enough light in the room either.

Friends list and the announcement of Near

Announced earlier today, Near, the app for NGP that tracks where you go throughout the day, was also touched upon in the talk.

The app allows you to check out what games are being played the most in the area you are currently in, shows where you are in the world, and even what you did gaming-wise today and who is playing an NGP near you.

You can gift items, do a treasure hunt, and while this will not be available at NGP’s launch, it is coming.

Uncharted NGP shown running at the event.

Uncharted on NGP

You have all seen the demo for this by now, however, seeing it live and seeing it on your PC screen are two different things entirely, and Frank Simon, senior staff producer at SCEA walked us through the demo of Naughty Dog’s first Uncharted.

You can use the touch screens to make Nathan climb, jump, and all other sorts of neat stuff. A slide of the finger makes him climb a rope, touching the back screen makes him slide down the rope.

Button prompts help him fight a bit, and when he is jumping onto the edge of a cliff and looking down, turning the thumb sticks to look around really makes you feel as if you are indeed on the edge of said cliff. It was rather vertigo inducing.

NGP is slated for a release sometime around the holidays. High-res gallery below courtesy of GamesRadar.



  1. DejaVu

    Oh – the Videos here are much to big. Please – embed them the next time smaller! Thank you…

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Red-Anima

    Amazing, more I read about NGP more I like it. I’m very impressed of scanning the T-rex and popping it into a game/software. Can’t wait to get this lovely gaming device on my hands.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Dannybuoy

    The NGP does look pretty special. If they’re producing visuals like that already then just imagine what will be possible once the industry is really savvy with the architecture. Great stuff

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Crysis

    LOVE! The little videos & columns you guys have on the side, cheers to whoever designed it. Looks super professional :)

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Moonwalker1982

    Very impressive all, but i’m gonna have to agree with a article from awhile ago. The writer said it was all very cool and impressive but he doesn’t nessecarily want to play games like this on a handheld, he’d much rather play them on his big screen at home and play some ‘simpler’ games on handhelds.

    He also said something along the lines of..these spectacular games with killer graphics, you won’t have the same experience and feel if you play that on a small screen. I agree again…but we’ll see.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Goffee

    Roundup of all the news, links to Sony’s slide deck and other news –

    #6 4 years ago
  7. datamonkey

    “Since the handheld was designed with developers in mind”

    Nice to see they have taken a leaf out of Nintendo’s book with NGP

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Crysis

    @7, Since when has Nintendo created a console with ease of development in mind? Remember the N64?

    #8 4 years ago
  9. datamonkey

    @8 – Er…. How about all their consoles since the N64? GC, GBA, DS, Wii…

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Crysis

    @9, They were just basic, they didn’t try anything new with any of them from other than controls from a developers viewpoint.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. typeface

    Something I’d come across last night during their presentation was that they have pressure sensitive touch screens. Now that’s pretty neat actually when it comes to control schemes. It gives depth to inputs and actually can help the backscreen function as sensitive trigger.

    @5 I think to be honest, people wouldn’t mind on the go gaming if their platform supported it particularly if there’s interconnectivity between two devices. If you could continue your console game with your handheld wouldn’t you rather do that. I don’t sit at home all day and sometimes I travel for work for days and I’d like to play some of the games I’ve got at home while on the move. I can only play smartphone games so much before I get bored. Fortunately DS and PSP games do fit the bill, but so do home console type games. Truth be told, I can easily imagine someone wanting to play an isometric games or RTSes on the move – provided the control schemes are good (and of course the games are good). One thing that held back console to portable gaming was that control schemes had to be modified for the port and the screens are quite small.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Patrick Garratt

    Here’s a video of NGP spinning around in a glass case. It’s shiny:

    #12 4 years ago
  13. spiderLAW

    sexy. i want it now

    #13 4 years ago
  14. fearmonkey

    I would love to see an Open world RPG game for the handheld, that would make it a must have for me.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. DeathJynx

    @14 I think panasonic was gonna make a strictly mmo handheld but it looked rediculous and they scrapped it.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Isaaclarke37

    I am definitely gonna get myself one, it looks awesome, cool & it has so much in it.
    I am sold.

    #16 4 years ago

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