Uncharted NGP Hands-On

We get a hands-on demo of Nathan Drake's Next Generation Portable adventure; touching and tapping ensue.

by

One of the games showcased for the NGP at Sony's PlayStation Meeting in Japan was a new entry in the Uncharted series. The eye-popping demo showcased the NGP's graphical muscle and its touch functionality. We were able to spend a little time with the demo of the upcoming game and tried to wrap our head around the fact that the incredible-looking game was running on a portable gaming device.

The demo let us play through the short sequence that Shuhei Yoshida showed off onstage during the presentation. We guided Nathan Drake through a series of environmental obstacles and dealt with a few enemies before winding down the action with some photography. The demo opened with Nathan walking away from a jeep and heading off into a jungle. The early issues to be dealt with weren't too taxing--some running and jumping over obstacles were the biggest issues. Vine swinging required a little more effort, tilting the NGP to get a swing going, but it was manageable and also served to highlight the stunning viewing angles of the NGP screen.

Enemies didn't appear to pose too much of an issue at first given the "touch to incapacitate" mechanic in the demo, which brings up a small fist for you to tap on to take out enemies automatically. The touch mechanic also let us have Drake pick up a rifle toward the end of the demo as an enemy across a ravine opened fire. We got a taste of the gyro functionality in the device as we shifted our aim by physically moving the device. The gyro support was very responsive and worked best when we used smooth, deliberate movements, which offered us very precise aiming. Once our enemies were taken out, we were able to call up a camera mode, because why wouldn't Nathan Drake want to document his travels? This switched our view to a camera viewfinder. We used the integral gyros to move around and the front touch screen to zoom in or out. Once we hit the right shoulder button to snap our shot, we got a "camera challenge complete" message, and the demo ended.

The action in the demo made use of most of the controls on the NGP--analog sticks, touch screen, and face and shoulder buttons--pretty smoothly. Although the demo required us to hop between different control mechanics--buttons, touch screen, and gyro--everything worked well together and felt right. We're also happy to see that some of the touch-screen mechanics, such as jumping over objects, can be done with a button too, if that's what you prefer. At the same time, we liked the idea of "swiping" to a location and having Nathan walk or climb there automatically.

The visuals in the demo were ridiculously close to the original Uncharted on the PlayStation 3. The environmental detail was very high, as was the detail on Nathan, who animated smoothly. Texture quality was extremely sharp and was further complemented by the NGP's screen, which was stunning from any angle. Most impressive was the game's frame rate and camera movement, both of which were very smooth. The most nitpicking we can do is call out some minor aliasing bits on some plants and an odd texture or two, which are things you'd have to be looking for. Other than that, the game looks like Uncharted on the PS3, which isn't too shabby for a first-generation showcase of the NGP's power.

Overall we're very impressed by the NGP's power and the potential of an Uncharted game on the system, based on what we played. Though what we played was clearly a nascent slice of this new game, it hit all the notes we'd want an Uncharted game to hit on a portable system, right down to short bits of banter from Nathan as he goes about his business. While no release information has been given on Uncharted NGP yet, plan on more from us as we get it.

Discussion

249 comments
wwefan4ever
wwefan4ever

I so want the Vita, I see so many people bashing it, but it really is cool. "Totally agreed, I hate touch screens and all that stuff like motion control on a gaming device." I hate people who whine about stuff they are not forced to use, at E3 they show you can play it like normal OR use the touch screen. Having options is a good thing.

Gezo24
Gezo24

I dont really like the whole interactive gaming area, but its still a great feature to just have, six axis and touchscreen/panels. Browsing the internet is always easier with a touchscreen.

musashisama
musashisama

As a owner of PS3, would like to see "just for NGP" titles. That mixed in with "a few" PS3 titles (thinking Demon Souls) would convince me to buy it soon. very soon.....

bordieri
bordieri

simply Awesome eyy !!! xD just cant wait for the NGP to come out !!! NGP= Nintendo got PAWND !!! xD

NoahRoalson
NoahRoalson

@criticfromhell Totally agreed, I hate touch screens and all that stuff like motion control on a gaming device.

MBling3
MBling3

Never thought the PSP2 would stand a chance in the handheld wars before it was anounced. Boy was I wrong! Still, it's mostly aimed at hardcore gamers, but you gotta love the gameplay posibilities. And the thought of playing demon souls EVERYWHERE... *drools*

TrinityChica14
TrinityChica14

this definitely looks cool but does this mean all the new games come out on NGP and not the PSP anymore or are they going to be separate? because seriously, give the PSP time! everytime I turn around they are coming out with a new version of the system I JUST bought..

Bog101
Bog101

nobody cares about interacting with the game. i dont feel like im "in the game" because i get to rub the back touch panel. six axis motion and touch screen are still nice though i just dont want sony to turn this into gimmick

GOAT_DUDE
GOAT_DUDE

if its at least 2/3 as long as the original uncharted i will be happy

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

A bonanza of portable gimmickry -- looks like we're about to see another wasted opportunity from Sony.

criticfromhell
criticfromhell

For the love of god, get rid of the lame touchscreens, six-axis and all motion control related crap. At least make them entirely optional, or release a seperate version of the PSP2 without them. I love sony, but please, just stick to your guns.

douglasdlrs
douglasdlrs

Como es posible que los sonyers no se den cuenta de que Sony le copia las cosas a Nintendo pero con otras cosas para decir que son "originales"? Se pasan de ridiculos. Ahora hasta la pantalla tactil le copian al DS, el giroscopio, luego sera el 3D. Digame el WiiMote de PS3 woooow tremenda originalidad de su parte,

Kill-Zone_99
Kill-Zone_99

With all these interacting movements for this NGP, dropping it could be deadly :P

Kill-Zone_99
Kill-Zone_99

Look at this game, now imagine a 3rd Dissidia on the NGP! :D

rapboy_905
rapboy_905

@Xizle Shuhei Yoshida was speaking on-stage in Japanese and most of the people at the conference would not be able to understand him without the modern day wonder that is a translator.

Xizle
Xizle

WTF is that voice? Jesus christ it was annoying.

stratfender89
stratfender89

I like how the compare climbing vines to touching the back of the PSP2, because I climb vines just like that too lol. Seriously though, this looks quite impressive. I hope it shines better than the original PSP, since most of the games felt like ports of PS2 games.

TheAcejoel99
TheAcejoel99

Soooooo now I have to cross out the "3DS" off the label on my jar for money saved up for 3DS and write "NGP" :P haha. PS3 in my hand or...almost gamecube? Easy choice :).

cspark809
cspark809

I will go for 3ds. I will think about getting psp2 later when they drop there price.

cspark809
cspark809

impressive graphic. impressive device, but play uncharted with all those extra stuff seems very awkward and very uncomfortable.

enfieldgamer84
enfieldgamer84

Impressed by the graphical potential here but it appears laden with unnecessary gimmicks liable to reduce battery life and increase the price of the hardware outside of the financial means of your average gamer. Tread carefully Sony.

geomyr
geomyr

it is like iphone plus ps3 all together wow

geomyr
geomyr

imagine playing portable console with the power of the ps3 in your hands its pretty expensive but worth gonna have to save a lot of big bucks for this :)

BotZakafein
BotZakafein

OMG WOW. this is the power of ps3 in your hands, on the go!! these are gonna pretty expensive by the look of it.

ubaid16
ubaid16

I am gonna quit playing pc games

Waranabatokwa
Waranabatokwa

SONY, make a demon's souls please.. i would love a LAN coop..

condelirios
condelirios

WOW! (picking up jaw that has dropped on table)... DROOL. So Awesome. Beyond cool. Finally Sony brings a product to surpass the Nintendo and Apple gaming models... Not just match... but gives us more. That rear touch panel is a crazy cool addition.

XxppxX3
XxppxX3

psp $500 game$100 hehe

ingram_gamer1
ingram_gamer1

how much would one of these cost? thousands i guess

Cheesehead9099
Cheesehead9099

Wow. This thing IS as powerful as the PS3 after all.... *head explodes*

williamdave2
williamdave2

I have to admit, this looks visually amazing. Although I'm not quite sure about the whole touch screen thing. I suppose it's likely it's optional as the 3DS' 3D gimmick. Other than that, I'm looking forward to the library of games both systems have to offer. Looks like this is the year for some incredible handheld gaming.

mf1986
mf1986

I would love to get a Demons souls on this beast "drools"

fend_oblivion
fend_oblivion

Wow... I can't wait to see what other games come for the NGP.

howardorr
howardorr

Wow. Hugely impressive. Just one question...with a handheld able to fo this, what's the point of a PS3?! :) *Drools* Must. Get. One...

Grovilis
Grovilis

Well, it looks like that I may just get the next PSP rather than the 3DS.

cameio
cameio

just AMAZING :) Day one for me whatever the price is i will get it.

vaver16
vaver16

I knew they would make uncharted for psp. Just didnt think it would be this good looking!!!!

Toyeboy
Toyeboy

this looks more compelling to purchase than the PS3 ever was

JiGSaW918
JiGSaW918

damn...looks really,really, really impressive!!! the only thing that could kill it is the price... :(

coldsauce09
coldsauce09

sony computer entertainment really knows their stuff and their products out-stand most technically the only thing is they kinda suck at timing, marketing?. advertising? and fans.... if only more people will take off their blindfolds probably we can enjoy gaming like how japanese people enjoy them and have a life at the same tine

mickyfinn84
mickyfinn84

I'm not a fan of handhelds but that is very Impressive. Dread to think how much it will cost though.