Sony just pulled the lid back on their new portable PlayStation device, codenamed “NGP” (Next-Gen Portable) at a press conference in Tokyo, Japan. The above is an image of the device, snapped by 4Gamer.
For its primary controls, the system includes dual micro-analog sticks, which are meant to resemble traditional analog sticks, rather than the current PSP’s analog nub.
The NGP also comes with a 5-inch OLED multi-touch touchscreen, as well as a multi-touch panel on the back. The touch panel on the back is the same size as the system’s OLED screen. A demonstration of an Uncharted game on the NGP had Drake sliding down a vine when a finger was slide down the back of the system.
The NGP also includes functionality similar to the PlayStation 3’s SIXAXIS tilt controls. The system includes both a front and rear camera, as well as 3G, Wi-Fi and GPS functionality. The system will connect to mobile networks. This ties in with a feature titled “LiveArea.”
LiveArea is the NGP’s user interface. It can be used to launch games, launch an online store for downloadable content, as well as view news updates on a game. Trophies can be viewed in LiveArea as well. You can also use LiveArea to view what your friends are doing on their NGPs in realtime, as well as send messages back and forth.
The system’s connected nature also gives rise to a feature titled “Near.” This is based around the concept of location-based gaming. Near shows the places you’ve travelled to with your NGP in real life. Sony cited the example of going to the Shibuya district in Tokyo and being able to view a list of the most popular games played in Shibuya via the Near feature. The feature will also detect what those around you are playing, and you’ll be able to purchase games via the Near interface for convenience.
Retail games on the NGP will come on new physical media in the form of flash memory-based cards. So far, Hot Shots Golf, Gravity Daze, Killzone, Reality Fighters, Smart As, Broken, LBP, Little Deviants, WipEout, Resistance, and Uncharted games have been announced for the system.
Sony have the NGP system slated for launch this holiday season. No price has been announced as of this post.