Fresh intel from GDC has shed more light on the NGP's enigmatic card-based storage format. We now know know the capacity of these "Game Cards," as well as some interesting tidbits about its dual removable memory. It seems that Sony have learned more than a few lessons from its experimental (and utterly dire) PSP Go.
As reported by Joystiq, Sony has revealed the specs for the NGP's storage system during this year's GDC panel. Unlike the PSP Go, the NGP will not feature onboard memory beyond space for firmware and system updates. Instead, titles will be issued on 'Game Cards' that will come in either 2GB or 4GB sizes depending on the needs of the particular game. Between 5 and 10 percent of these cards will be writable; providing room for save files, patches and game-specific updates.
This capacity is a vast improvement on the PSP's UMD drive (which caters for between 900MB and 1.8GB), and is actually fairly impressive when compared to the 9GB maximum for multiplatform console titles. This should provide plenty of room for some seriously impressive games, as well as improving loading times and extending battery life thanks to the lack of moving parts.
However, we also know that the NGP features another slot for 'removable memory,' which we currently assume to be a Memory Stick or comparable flash-based medium. This drive will allow games to be downloaded from the Playstation Network, and a universal file standard will mean that all games can be released as a physical copy and PSN download simultaneously (without the need for further conversion). The distinct lack of downloadable AAA third-party titles contributed to the failure of the PSP Go, and it's clearly a lesson that Sony have taken to heart.
Naturally we'll be keeping a close eye on the NGP over the coming months - and will keep you updated by the wire.