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Skyhook GPS Confirmed For NGP; Nintendo Criticize 3G Fees

Jonathan Lester
3DS, 3G, Games news, GPS, NGP, Nintendo, Skyhook Wireless, Sony

Nintendo: 3G Fees Will "Decrease The Customer Base"

Skyhook GPS Confirmed For NGP; Nintendo Criticize 3G Fees

Sony's NGP handheld may still be many months from release, but developers are queueing up to support the device even at this early stage. Skyhook Wireless is the latest to jump onto the bandwagon with their innovative GPS location technology that will provide the main geographical location software on the platform. Nintendo, however, have been quick to criticise Sony over this 3G functionality; suggesting that the fees will ultimately hold the NGP back.

Skyhook Wireless uses standard GPS data, Wi-Fi and mobile phone mast triangulation to provide extremely reliable location data that can be used by a variety of applications. No specific functionality has been detailed yet, but we can expect traditional GPS route-finding (possibly with a supplementary price tag) as well as use in creating geographical leaderboards. Naturally, it could also be leveraged into more innovative games that use location as part of the gameplay. The technology is already used by Foursquare and Facebook.

The launch of NGP is the latest in a long line of innovations over the past years that demonstrate how the PlayStation brand continues to push the game industry forward.

Precise location information is increasingly central to the portable entertainment experience. Skyhook's Core Engine will provide NGP with superior location capabilities.- Masaaki Turuta, SCE chief technology officer

Naturally Skyhook will make use of the NGP's 3G functionality... but Nintendo has spoken out to criticize its inclusion in a handheld gaming device. Speaking to the Japanese Press, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata suggests that 3G fees will "decrease the customer base" as well as alienating more casual consumers. Much of this may be sour grapes, however- especially since a cheaper SKU will simultaneously launch without 3G functionality. [Andriasang]

Is 3G the future of handhelds... or a double-edged sword? Have your say in the comments!

Add a comment4 comments
Gunn  Mar. 2, 2011 at 09:27

Sounds like Nintendo are scared, certainly 3G fees haven't put off the smart phone users and its perhaps the likes of Apple that should be more worried than Nintendo. I'm assuming we will be able to use the NGP as a Sat nav,the screen certainly big enough and then can take it out and use it on the street too.

ODB  Mar. 2, 2011 at 09:49

3G on a phone is fair enough though but having to pay for 3G on a console? I wouldnt tbh....but if you sign up for this BT wifi thing it would eliminate the need for a 3G package anyway. What gets me about 3G is its made out like that if you cant get wifi you can get 3G which isnt at all true. Struggle to get 3G in certain areas and inside most public/work buildings and if your signal isnt great you'll get a slow connection anyway

Jonathan Lester  Mar. 2, 2011 at 10:57

I'd be surprised if the NGP doesn't offer SatNav functionality, but considering that most map suites are licensed, there'll almost certainly be an additional fee involved (for Sony as well as consumers). Hopefully the price will be absorbed into the 3G subscription.

ODB  Mar. 2, 2011 at 11:05

Unless it can have the Google navigation which is free..but yeah will be a paid for service


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