Sony's New PSP Turns Out to Be 'Full-featured' Console

Jan 28, 2011
Tadashi Nezu, Nikkei Electronics

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc (SCE) had a press conference along with the announcements of the "Next Generation Portable (NGP)," a successor to its PlayStation Portable portable game console, and the "PlayStation Suite (PS Suite)" service, Jan 27, 2011, in Tokyo.

"We would like to introduce the new world that the PlayStation is about to realize," SCE President and Group CEO Kazuo Hirai said.

At the conference, he explained the features of and business strategies for the NGP and the PS Suite.

SCE President and Group CEO Kazuo Hirai
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The NGP is a so-called "full-featured" portable game console, which is equipped with a variety of sensors and input devices to realize "ultimate immersion," Hirai said.

Video being played by the NGP
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As sensors that detect the user's motions, the NGP has a three-axis acceleration sensor, gyro sensor and geomagnetic sensor. As a result, it became possible to control, for example, a character or a viewpoint in a game by tilting the NGP. Also, the NGP has a camera that SCE claims was tuned for gaming on the front and back surfaces of the console. By combining those cameras with the motion sensors, it becomes possible to play AR games that capture the user's motions, figures, etc.

A viewpoint in a game being controlled by tilting the NGP
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A multi-touch capacitive touch panel was employed for the display of the NGP, and a multi-touch touchpad is mounted on the back of the console. The sizes of the touch-sensitive display and the touchpad are both 5 inches. They have the same size because SCE wanted to enhance the operability of the console.

SCE said that, by using two types of touch sensors, the NGP can "offer the experience of directly touching the game world" and "provide stereoscopic effects to game playing." The display is equipped with an OLED panel with a pixel count of 960 x 544, the company said.

The NGP comes with a touch-sensitive display.
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A game is being played by using the touchpad on the back of the console. In the game, an area that corresponds to the touched portion of the touchpad is raised.
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The touchpad on the back of the console. Many logos (ΟΧ∆□) are drawn on it.
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This time, the number of the "analog pad," which can be tilted in any direction, was increased from one to two. They are located on the right and left sides of the console so that they can be controlled by using two hands.

This is the change that has been strongly requested by PSP users, SCE said. For example, it is now possible to control a character in a game by using the left analog pad while changing a viewpoint by using the right analog pad.

The NGP has the analog pad on both sides of the console.
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3G communication capability, GPS function

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