Next Generation Portable Hands-On

We get a brief hands-on with the PSP successor.

Shortly before our interview with Shuhei Yoshida at Sony's Tokyo offices for the Next Generation Portable, we were given the opportunity to get our hands on the actual hardware for a bit. You can check out our impressions of the demos of Uncharted and Little Deviants elsewhere, but we wanted to spend some time discussing the surprising little piece of hardware itself. While photos and video of the unit may give the impression that it has a lot in common with the brick-style original PSP in terms of heft and feel, this is not entirely the case.

The upcoming device is actually surprisingly light, with the dazzling screen taking up a fair amount of real estate on it. The button and analog stick layout feels familiar and comfortable. The sticks themselves feel good; Sony used the term "micro analog sticks," and it seems pretty apt. They have the give that's comparable to the sticks on the PS3's DualShock controllers, which makes them comfortable to use. The shoulder buttons feel a bit thinner than the original PSP's, but they work out well.

The touch functionality takes some getting used to, but it works well. We found that the front-facing touch screen was responsive and not as much of a smudge magnet as we expected. While there were Sony staff members on hand with microfiber cloths at the ready, we noticed that the screen didn't look so bad after we played with the system for a bit. The back-facing touch screen took some getting used to and seemed to respond best to a light touch as opposed to our initial Frankenstein-like mashing.

As for the screen itself, the NGP continues Sony's tradition of outfitting its handhelds with head-turning tech. The NGP screen demolishes the original PSP's, above and beyond resolution. The viewing angle on the OLED screen is more comparable to the latest batch of high-end mobile phones. In fact, we'll go out on a limb and say that what we saw features better color, contrast, and black levels than anything we've seen to date.

In addition to our hands-on, we were able to speak with Sony reps following the conference and got a few more odds and ends of info on the system. The games for the unit will come in two flavors: downloadable via PlayStation Network and in a New Game Media, which sounds a lot like a cartridge to us and will store games in some sort of flash-based hardware. The system will have music and video playback capabilities much like its predecessor, although that wasn't showcased at today's event. Your PSN ID will carry over to the NGP, which will feature trophy support for games and will work with the Near utility (to track your activities) that was demoed onstage at the conference.

Overall, we were very impressed by the NGP. The device sports a smart industrial design and a stunning screen and packs some impressive features. The big question now is how much is it going to cost?

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121 comments
TheStickMafia
TheStickMafia

I haven't seen anything on PSN about Atlus going to be on it. They better have it on there or I will be mad!

thehunter1900
thehunter1900

@toabob you are absolute wrong lol mhz say absolute nothing. 200mhz sgx543mp4 pushes 133m polygons, 4billion fillrate has 16 pipelines that function 2x the speed each then the pica @400mhz the gpu pushes 270million polygons, 8billion fillrate 16 pipelines and 2x speed. ((( ps3 = 300-350 million polygons and 4 billion fillrate ))) pica at 200mhz has 15,3million polygons, 0,8billion fillrate 1-4 pipelines at half the 543's speed each. pica at 400mhz has 30,6 million polygons 1,6 billion fillrate and has 1-4 pipelines at half the 543 speed. Pica supports 2.1 smartshader, 543's 3.1 smartshader. 1 core from ngp @200mhz = 35million polygons and 1 billion fillrate 1 core from ngp @400mhz = 70millon polygons and 2 billion. 400mhz pica vs 400mhz 1 cored 543's ngp = 30,5 vs 70m polygons and 1,6 vs 2 billion fillrate. ( pipelines are 2x stronger on it ). this means the NGP 1 cored already completely crushes whole pica at its max. hell the NGP 1 core of the gpu = more polygons on 200mhz vs the max mhz 400 on the pica. ngp 1 cored 200mhz = 35 million + 1 billtion fillrate vs 3ds pica 400mhz = 30,6 million + 1,6 billion fillrate as far as polygons its beaten. and thats just 1 core on its lowest speed vs pica on its highest speed. for cpu to keep it simple i will rename the arm11 towards a7 to make it easier. 3DS: arm11 ( a7 ) 2x 266mhz ngp: a9 4x 800-2000mhz ( i think its 1ghz ) 2 generations above the 3DS version + higher cloak speed = massive faster not even comperable. memory: 3ds: 128mb fast mem ngp: 512-1gb ( unknown but higher then ps3 ) "dev kits got 1gb" fast ram. v-ram: 3ds: 4-6 mb v-ram ngp: 128 mb v-ram ( rumored "half ps3's" ) There is no comparison really. NGP is a generation beyond 3DS, just as the PSP ( ps1.7 ) vs ds ( n64) 3DS = psp basically with better filters + shaders to give it instead from gamecube a xbox apearance.

Fred5107
Fred5107

This will be in America, right?

ecurl143
ecurl143

It's not about what we're declaring, it's about what we're seeing. And I'm seeing AAA titles running at high resolution, on a beautiful 5" touch OLED screen. As far as I'm concerned, it looks and plays exactly like a PS3.

toabob
toabob

this is important knowleged to consider before you guys declare any system beter than the other read here People need look up info before they comment. Some are saying NGPs graphics are like ps3s Which is not the case here .NGPs GPU the Quad-core Power SGX543MP4 is in the 233MHz range. The 3ds GPU the DMP PICA 200 is 200MHZ PS3 has about 500 MHz that very is different processing power therefore 3DS actually has almost the same capabilities as the NGP the difference is only the quad core which the 3ds does not have

toabob
toabob

@craigloboxxx not being negative just showing an unseen yet importent fact that many have ignored for far too long sorry if i sounded rude

craigloboxxx
craigloboxxx

Chill buddy. Whats with all the negativity?

toabob
toabob

prove me worng o wait you cant

toabob
toabob

i dont think got owned read below

toabob
toabob

You can only see one clear image of the NGP playing a game which you can see at amazon.com. if you compare that an image of resident evil on the 3ds you will see that they both have very similar graphics.

toabob
toabob

People need look up info before they comment. Some are saying NGPs graphics are like ps3s Which is not the case here .NGPs GPU the Quad-core Power SGX543MP4 is in the 233MHz range. The 3ds GPU the DMP PICA 200 is 200MHZ PS3 has about 500 MHz that very is different processing power therefore 3DS actually has almost the same capabilities as the NGP the difference is only the quad core which the 3ds does not have

toabob
toabob

@weskeni20 did nintendo read this

ecurl143
ecurl143

This is serious piece of kit for sure and if it's aggressively priced,(£150-200) then it should do very well. Just seeing Uncharted running on this is enough to convince me that this is the way to go for me personally. It just looks gorgeous and solidly built (expect nothing less from Sony though) The 3DS will also sell very well, simply because it has a huge user base and a good supply of cheap, easy to pick up/put down games - people being sheep will naturally stay with that but for sheer coolness and power, the NGP should see off all competition with ease I think.

heroesfan261
heroesfan261

I for one hope that it can play psp games so then i'll be able to play all of my downloaded psn psp games onto it.

Digital_DJ_00
Digital_DJ_00

Reasons why I'm "not" buying the NGP: 1. Supports 3G when today's standard is 4G 2. Probable high price-tag ($300+) 3. No UMD support for previous PSP owners 4. 3D technology is more appealing than NGP's graphics (IMO) 5. 3DS' game launch looks more promising than NGP's game launch

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

Four things to say about this: 1. looks and sounds great in concept and I can't wait to get my hands on one....drool drool 2. How much is it going to cost? 3. Actual release date please?? 4. What to do with my PSP 3000 and UMDs. I currently have about 14 UMD games and I'm sure I'll still want to play some of them in 12 months time so. But trading in the 3000 will surely get some good money off the purchase price as with trading in the DSi for the 3DS!

icekids
icekids

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

tpeeple1
tpeeple1

I think the question now id what do we do with our current psps? We all want the ngp. I have a bunch of expensive games and I wanted to keep them. How will I get them on the ngp if there are no umd's??? I'm screwed. I wanted to keep mgs peace walker, socom fireteam bravo 3 and tenkaichi tag team. What will I do now??? I hate wasting money. I bought all of these games for 40 bucks...

zeniftan
zeniftan

I'm not much of a handheld type myself. I never bought a PSP in any of it's revisions, plus I got the DS I have now, which I rarely play on at all, from a freind of mine for free, and he rarely played on it either. I may get one of these, but I'll be doing that when it's much, much cheaper.

mikeeey19
mikeeey19

Awesome. I just would have liked to have seen it being played for a little bit! I love Uncharted!

Falcon084
Falcon084

@grim0187 Ever been on a train going to work or school for 3 hours a day?

bsgpro
bsgpro

Equal yes It can run the same games. MGS3D uses models that are what about ps3 quality. RE:R runs shaders only seen in a HD console. Its a fater and more costly 3DS with out the 3D. I rest my case.

bendall01
bendall01

release date please or it didn't happen...rofl

Kruiz_Bathory
Kruiz_Bathory

I just hope it's around 250 like the 3ds, and has good Jrpgs and it's free region like the PSP.

Yuyutsu_152
Yuyutsu_152

i am going to buy it only if we can make phone calls with it if not i better go to android

Xizle
Xizle

Lets see how long it takes for this thing to get cracked with free games.

jqm1978
jqm1978

3G is great and all...but more and more carriers are going to 4G.....I'm thinking it might be wise to wait for the 4G version of this, which is one of the features I suspect the NGP "2000" or NGP "3000" will employ.... I'll still probably pick up a launch model, but with the potential to eventually get a 4G model, some might want to wait.....I love this thing.

grim0187
grim0187

Handhelds are pointless. If your "out and about" how about concetrating on what your doing and wait till you get home to game? How many of you travel on a plane often enough to justify buying a possibly 200+ dollar piece of gaming hardware? Not many I bet.

Saxxonfury
Saxxonfury

@paul_hubans Of course console games are better than 90% of handheld games, and I love some FFXIII on my 52" plasma screen. But I don't buy a PSP so I can play it at home, thats why I have a PS3. The PSP is so you can play some quality games while your out and about, and not have to play stupid Angry Birds. Any gamer born before the 1990s should know that just because theres less "game," it isn't less fun.

paul_hubans
paul_hubans

I don't get the appeal of this. It does not innovate at all; it just features a bigger screen with better graphics. So what? Why would I want to play games like that on a tiny handheld over my big HDTV screen, anyways? It really seems to cheapen the whole point of the experience by putting everything on a tiny screen with tiny speakers and overpriced piece of hardware... But I guess Sony fans need their new toys. I think I'll stick with systems that actually support robust gameplay and fun experiences, regardless of whether it features bright and "realistic" graphics or not. Any gamer born before the 1990s should know that it takes more than good graphics to make good games.

sonic_rareware8
sonic_rareware8

@lilmacjr YEAH, I hope the NGP doesn't cost as much as the PS3. And @Decon87, I hope it plays PS3 games.

Docky2k6
Docky2k6

@Nihonjinjanai Hahahahahahahahhhahaha. Sony, doing you, the gamer, a favour? Please ;)

Nihonjinjanai
Nihonjinjanai

What should I do with my UMD's? Will they let me trade them in for free download code or something?

tegstar83
tegstar83

Looks awesome cant wait for it, but why not have memory stick duo for the added storage and not an new propriety card?

adtn64
adtn64

i cant wait 4 NGP(is a dumb name) i hope they change it but this is sonys game changer welcome one welcome all to the playstation universe........Trophy whores,graphic whores, also welcome

4darklink
4darklink

Looks amazing, but seeing as how the graphics are it will probably make the 3DS look cheap. Also it doesn't specify the battery life?

whitemute
whitemute

I completely skipped the DS and PSP but I may have to shell out the money for this one if the games are good.

madman608
madman608

Looks rad, but after the initial PS3 price...

admund
admund

3DS/iPad was WOW, the NGP/PSP2 is WTFOMG.

nnids4
nnids4

I'll take mine in white

uglypinkmoose
uglypinkmoose

@MrSelf-Destruct I agree... the two handhelds can't really be compared.... though at the same time I think DS games make more sense for a handheld...on the go I wouldn't be playing Uncharted or Killzone... though thats just me... in the end I don't game on handhelds so it doesn't matter much