NGP specs scaled down?

French site claims Sony has halved portable's RAM to 256MB, ditched 16GB internal flash memory; tiered prices set at $350, $250; launch coming early 2012 in West.

Source: French site 01Net.

What we heard: Sony has been forthcoming with how its Next Generation Portable will look and feel in gamers' hands, but the system's horsepower largely remains a mystery. With (since refuted) reports indicating that the NGP will be as powerful as the PlayStation 3, a new report from 01Net indicates that Sony has scaled back the handheld's technology.

According to the French media site, Sony has informed its development partners that the NGP will include 256MB of RAM, down from the 512MB the company initially planned to include in the system. VRAM has been similarly halved, with video memory now expected to come in at 128MB. To make up for this reduction, Sony has reportedly scaled down the size of the NGP's operating system, as well as opened up an additional 26MB of RAM for data that requires quick access.

Sony is reportedly still tinkering with the NGP.

Sony has also reportedly ditched plans to include 16GB of internal flash memory. Instead, the electronics company is said to be planning an external memory solution along the lines of an SD card or Memory Stick Duo. 01Net's sources indicate that this memory format--sold initially by Sony--will include security measures to prevent piracy, which has plagued the PSP.

01Net claims that the impetus behind scaling down the NGP's memory was to keep the cost of the system down. 01Net affirmed previous rumors that emerged from a Ubisoft survey, stating that Sony is preparing two different NGP SKUs. A version with 3G wireless connectivity will reportedly cost $350. A $250 version will also be offered, and while it will maintain Wi-Fi connectivity, it will not benefit from 3G capabilities.

Lastly, 01Net's sources addressed Sony's launch plans, saying that the system is still on track to launch in Japan by year's end. The West is a different matter, though, with the website saying it has been told to expect an early 2012 launch outside of Japan.

The official story: Sony had not returned GameSpot's request for comment as of press time.

Bogus or not bogus: Leaning not bogus. 01Net was the first to report increasingly convincing rumors that the Wii 2 will include a tablet controller. Further, Sony does have a track record for scaling down its hardware prelaunch, having substantially downgraded the PS3's specs between E3 2005 and E3 2006.

Written By

Discussion

317 comments
Fightingfan
Fightingfan

maybe it's fighting the 3DS for battery life.

riariases
riariases

I doubt this whole story. Are we forgetting that game developers have projects in the works for the NGP? So if Sony just suddenly downgraded the specs, game developers could potentially be losing a lot of money. @orthac Okay, smartphone cost adds up to so much because of all the extra hardware and software that goes into them. Your average smartphone these days has 512MB Ram, 1GHz CPU and 200MHz GPU. The most powerful one I know of, being the Motorolla Atrix, has a 1GB Ram, dual-core 1GHz CPU and a 400MHz GPU, all for $500 with no term/contract. Smartphones also have higher resolution screens, higher resolution cameras, 2G, 3G, 4G, accelerometers, gyrosensors, proximity sensors, vibration, HTML, Java, Flash, HDMI, long lasting cell batteries and tons of software that dedicated portable gaming consoles don't need. Sony could make the specs of the NGP as good as any smartphone out there and price it at around $300-$400.

Ver-sie-go
Ver-sie-go

ah boy X-box good right about now

willt1963
willt1963

so what there is no reliable play station network. so give me a break and go play xbox 360!

Shinkada
Shinkada

Okay. None of the downgrades really surprise me. RAM isn't a huge loss, you don't really need 512 on a handheld. VRAM, well, who really expected it to have PS3 specs. The internal memory is a shame but hey that means we get more customizable external memory. What REALLY upset me about this article is their proposed replacement to the internal memory. Custom cards with built-in piracy protection? Okay Sony, seriously, did you NOT LEARN? The PSP's external memory was atrocious. It was years behind the standardized SD cards they made for digital cameras and phones, in terms of both size and price. We were paying twice the price for an 4GB stick that someone with a camera paid for 8GB, and then you expected us to download games onto it? And piracy protection? And then, heading up the end of the article, great, it's coming out multiple months after Japan's release. Sony seems to be in the 'middle aged Japanese developers who just don't learn' boat. Waiting for a product while we see footage of people with it in their hands on Youtube pisses us off. Piracy protection does not work. Piracy is not an epidemic, and even if it was, you still couldn't stop it. It's the same mistakes Capcom keep making, and just like Capcom, Sony will blame it all on THE EVIL PIRATES when the simple truth is that nobody wants to shell out huge amounts of money just to be kicked in the beanbag. EDIT: Forgot to mention, even though it doesn't surprise or upset me, maybe they wouldn't have had to tone down the specs if they removed some of the other completely unnecessary gimmicky crap like the 17 touchpads, 6 microphones, 9 cameras and 64 weight censors.

wahyudil
wahyudil

$350 .... make me curious, how much is the real price before the downgrade ...

orthac
orthac

Just a heads up to everyone that keeps ranting on about smart phones being more powerful, or will be in a year or two...You do realize how expensive it is to buy a smart phone that isn't on some kind of annual plan? Any of the current, top of the line, smart phones are well over $700. So less you want to shell out that kind of money for a PSP that can compete with those smart phones...stop arguing like it's a valid point.

okassar
okassar

Well, I sure hope this isn't true because I was planning on buying it day one.

phobianas
phobianas

A huge mistake Sony will do if they down power its NGP, never the less it will kill its popularity of its people, and cause a EPIC FAIL in their sales!.

xgalacticax
xgalacticax

Who cares what's under the hood? The only thing that can kill the NGP is a rubbish library of its games like its predecessor.

TXGAMER7
TXGAMER7

sony you've officially made me angry. a great system we've always wanted and now you want us to expect less? wow

DMWhiteDragon
DMWhiteDragon

Does it seem kind of sad that my mobile phone has more system ram? 768mb on a HTC Desire HD and a new Samsung Galaxy SII has 1GB! Disappointed but i think it should still perform rather well. Hopefully it remains just a rumor or Sony read the disappointed comments over the web and revert back to at least 512mb :)

Regulus27
Regulus27

didn't psp 3000 have 64Mb of ram? This is still much better!

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

@ eleven hand thats what hype does, now you learned, dont judge ngp by the cover , or 3ds for that matter and never count nintendo out maybe people will learn that as well lol ,never hype somthing , never ask for somthing then you wont be disappionted just get whats put to ya remember what your mom said ,about dinner along time ago---- eat whats put before ya, well same thing here ,if you want the darn handheld get it ,but remember your given whats put before you unless you make your own , thats tough

Regulus27
Regulus27

It took me a while but I looked up the 3ds's ram and vram. It was shown that the 3ds has 128Mb of ram and 64Mb or vram for its type of gpu. Basically the NGP will be double the specs of the 3ds.

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

@ntungwe they have never said that they are downgrading it this is just a rumor and just because 01Net was right on the wii 2 thing doesn't mean they are right now

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

I do wonder where this stacks against the 3DS in terms of graphical power.Just out of curiosity.

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

I laugh at all the graphics addicts.How many of those bums will decide not to buy it just because it doesn't have Superman inside it running the graphics?Really,if this is true,it's for the best.$250 puts it in much better line to compete with Nintendo,and perhaps it won't try to ride on graphics hype like a lot of things in this industry do.

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

I wonder how this effects the visuals, Sony had to confirm it wasn't PS3 quality at one point and I doubt the graphics themselves will take a hit (as the GPU is the same) but the level of detail in terrain, effects and rendering on objects must have took a hit from the lowered ram.

ntungwe
ntungwe

why down grade the specs sony.

daniel_chacon
daniel_chacon

c'mon sony, keep the ngp powerful with the original specs you announced!!!

corrus
corrus

Actually i found that PS3 have 256 on 256 ram.

rynmls
rynmls

this will probably like Nintendo 3ds. release a new hardware but have no support from third party developers.

corrus
corrus

This E3 will sucks Nintendo and Microsoft will win Sony you disappointed me very very much.

flamingboard
flamingboard

Sony is literally self destructing in a cloud of money. Cut everything! We can make a NGP with 1024k of RAM. Who needs more?

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@mrboone01 - RAM. The PS3 has 256Mb of dedicated system RAM and 256Mb of VRAM. When listing specs for a computer, VRAM is almost never considered part of a whole, but separately. If your computer has 1Gb for example, that number always separate from VRAM, so you likely have something between 256Mb and 2Gb VRAM as well.

Henninger
Henninger

This sucks. I liked all the features they had. Oh well I'll be getting this anywayz when it drops despite the scale down.

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

@punu40 were the specs ever officially posted? If not I could see a scale back due to possible problems (over heating, price might be a little high). We will know at the E3 anyways its only a few days away lol

CaptainVictory
CaptainVictory

@malatato They didn't bash Sony. Just simply give us info on the specs.

dukie855
dukie855

Ass. And I was hoping to get one! Good luck now, Sony. *Sigh*

malatato
malatato

French site?? hmm.. gamespot bashing sony again......... ridiculous

punu40
punu40

Hmm? What about those games that's already being developed? I think this specs scale down is very unlikely, but who knows...

Kaffikjelen
Kaffikjelen

NOOOOO!!!!! *sob* With these specs, the NGP will be outdated within a month after launch...

corrus
corrus

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

johnjarvela
johnjarvela

I thought this was meant to OUTSELL the 3DS and not lose to Nintendo again?, if they want to compete with Nintendo in handheld, they should've kept the spec where they were originally at >.> GREAT JOB SONY!!!, I think I'll stay away from the PSP line once again, and get a 3DS, yeah the battery life sucks and the game library (ATM) sucks, but its about to get awesome, yeah its just ports and remakes so far, but at least Nintendo actually bothers to change stuff >.>

jsh020
jsh020

i would of paid 350$ for the odl model but after the scaleing back they basicly just made a handheld with the exact capabilities of the psp 1 with touch screen.

Extreme124
Extreme124

Haha sony talking from there ars*es as usual.

banana23man
banana23man

IMO, if they really want to cut down cost, they should remove some of the eye candy, like gyroscope, touch pad and camera. I personally am just looking for a more powerful PSP with better game library, nothing more. In fact, I found it rather annoying watching the NGP Uncharted gameplay, when a simple action such as climbing had to done via the touchpad, just so the touchpad has some use.

hahamanin
hahamanin

so now this is certainly not as powerful as the ps3...m sorry i will pass on the psp again

King-gamer
King-gamer

Would you pay 350 for a handheld? I think this is a smart business decision. The 3DS isn't selling that well partly due to lack of games but also because of a high price tag. Sony saw this and wants to make sure their system will sell.

areszues92
areszues92

no way it's dumbed down so bad..

prioritymail
prioritymail

In two years, those specs will look like crap. Phones out today have 512MB of ram, imagine the phone landscape at the time this releases.

Samox
Samox

Still sounds decent enough, even with the downgrade.

rb89
rb89

@collinmul If by "noticeable behind" you mean "the DS outsells the PSP 3 to 1", then yeah!

BrianC6234
BrianC6234

I say bogus on this rumor. You cant trust those French sites.

darkslayerM
darkslayerM

lllllllooooooollllllllll Sony lies ever and ever ... the same as ps3 they promise and they fail in every ... xbox is much faster , cell cpu and nvidia video card kill in every aspect the ps3 slow slow slow ... the same with psp2 or NGP WAKE UP nintendo 3DS is much better more powerfull and with a 3D screen lol NGP is only a psp with the same graffics as a ps2 , .... funny as stupid Sony is a joke