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More details on the PSP New Generation Portable

Info via Gamespot's liveblogging of the Sony press conference
Image via Kotaku

About an hour ago, Sony finally announced the next generation PSP which for now was simply referred to as Next Generation Portable. Its focus is on expanding on the casual gaming market by allowing the system to give users connectivity through social networks.

After which they showed a new Uncharted game. Which isn't a casual game.

Some details of the NGP:

Brick form factor, but with a "super oval" design. Has a 5-inch OLED display with supposedly four times the resolution of current PSPs. Their goal is to give it PS3 quality graphics. Seriously?!

There are touch pads on the front and the rear. I don't actually totally understand the concept of having a rear touchpad, but hey! it's there.

Dual analog sticks (finally), and not just "nubs". They are actually micro-analog sticks. Additional command input sources include a gyroscope using the same internal gyro sensors as the PlayStation Move and "assorted sensors that track user movement". There are also front and rear cameras.

Games now have a new media: flash-based memory cards.

The NGP will have 3G and wifi (of course). Due out this holiday season (which I think means end of 2011?).

Here is a list of games for the NGP shown on Sony's presentation montage:

Hot Shots Golf Next
Gravity Daze
Little Deviants
Reality Fighters (sounds stupid)
Billiards (wow, how creative)

NGP games will have a trophy system.

The new system, while it won't have a UMD drive, will be compatible with older PSP games via downloadable PSP games.

As for the social networking side, the NGP tracks your activities, and your friends can comment on these activities. Your NGP will also be able to see what games are popular in your current location.

The NGP will be compatible with the also-just-announced PlayStation Suite. The PlayStation Suite is an environment for Android mobile devices that allows users to have the "PlayStation experience". Mainly, the PlayStation Suite will allow Android users to play PlayStation 1 games. But the hope of Sony is that the Suite's compatibility with NGP will draw mobile users to the new portable gaming device.

Folks from Capcom, Sega, and Tecmo Koei came out to say good things about the NGP. But they were mostly obvious, boring things, and nothing earth-shattering. Like, "oh my god we can totally port PS3 games on this", "holy crap, look at that thing render the opening sequence of my game", and, "wow this new right analog stick is totally innovative!" Stuff like that.

This press conference is obviously a marketing tactic to counteract the excitement over the Nintendo 3DS's release next month. The question is, will this announcement make you rethink your 3DS purchase?

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