As promised, the 27th of January has finally rolled around... and Sony have blown the lid clean off of the PSP2 during their Japanese press conference. Months of leaks, theories and gossip have all led up to today- and in case you didn't stay up to watch the announcements live, here's everything you need to know!
The PSP2 is dead. Long live the NGP! For now.
First things first. Sony have confirmed that the new handheld has been codenamed the NGP, which stands for Next Generation Portable. The PSP2 branding may return at a later date, but it's likely that Sony are looking into distancing their latest device from previous hardware with a new brand identity. NGP is almost certainly a placeholder, but that's what we're going to call it for now.
Does anyone else find it odd that NGP also stands for NeoGeo Pocket? I'm not suggesting that there's a comeback conspiracy, but... wait, that's exactly what I'm saying.
Here it comes: it's specifications time. Rather than a massive text dump, we've done our best to trim it down to the pertinent details that you need to know.
- CPU: ARM CortexTM-A9 core (4 core)
- GPU: SGX543MP4+
- Screen: 5 inches (16:9), 960 x 544, Approx. 16 million colors, OLED
- Input: Multi-touch screen, Rear touch pad, D-Pad, 2X Thumbsticks, Microphone
- Motion Control: Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer), three-axis electronic compass
- Cameras: Front camera, Rear camera
- Wireless: 3G, Bluetooth
- Other Features: Built-in GPS, Trophy Support
- Storage and Media: Onboard hard drive, non-volatile removable media (thanks, Gunn)
No real surprises here, but it's great to see the twin thumsticks confirmed at long last. The built-in GPS is also a nice touch. As rumoured, the form factor has reverted from a sliding panel to a single unit in order to house more effective fans and heat sinks.
As far as the rear multi-touch pad is concerned, Sony have announced that it's the same size as the screen and corresponds 1:1. It's up to developers to work out how to use it or ignore it completely.
Rumour: Eurogamer reports that maximum battery life may be in the region of 4-5 hours. Take what you want from that.
The Games: Uncharted! MGS! LBP! CoD!
Well, yeah. The Uncharted, Metal Gear Solid, Call of Duty and LittleBig Planet franchises will all make an appearance on the handheld- and will use the hardware to its full potential in terms of graphical output and motion control.
Sony have also confirmed a massive list of publishers who have signed up to support the device. You can read up on the full legion over at VG247, but it includes the likes of Capcom, Square, Activision and even the Oddworld lot.
This is absolutely key, folks. Make no mistake, Sony have to ensure that the PSP2 receives consistent third party support in order for it to succeed. This is a major step in the right direction.
Playstation Suite Will Deliver Games & Cloud Saves
This is probably the second biggest piece of news to come out of the press conference, though it's easily overlooked beneath the shiny games and specs. Sony will be rolling out a new digital content service entitled Playsation Suite, that will apparently deliver Playstation 1-2 games to Android devices and smartphones. What's more, cloud saves will also be supported, making it compatible with the NGP.
It will also provide a "new development environment," which we hope means that Sony will be encouraging Indie development to create smaller applications for microtransaction-style sales.
Playstation Suite is looking very suite indeed. We'll keep you posted.