Sony's next-generation portable (or NGP) might look a bit like the PSP, but that's where the similarities end. This is a complete reboot for Sony's portable gaming business, packed with bells, whistles, and state-of-the-art hardware. Let's take a closer look at the Sony NGP.
Sony NGP: An Overview
The NGP has a quad-core processor that can reportedly handle Playstation 3 games and a 5-inch OLED screen with 960-by-544 resolution. The iPod Touch won't be catching up for a while.
Sony NGP vs. PSP-3000
This image is not to scale, but the NGP is roughly a half-inch longer and wider than the PSP-3000, and 0.1 inch thicker. Note how some of the buttons, such as Select, Start, and Volume, have moved elsewhere on the NGP.
At Last, Real Thumbsticks
Say good-bye to the PSP's awkward analog pad. The NGP will have two miniature thumbsticks on each side for your circle-strafing pleasure.
A Touchscreen in Front…
The 5-inch OLED display supports multitouch for panning, pinching, and zooming. Easy prediction: You'll be able to play Angry Birds on it.
… And in the Back
Sony's NGP brings a new input method to the table with its rear-facing touchscreen. The iconic Playstation button overlay is a nice touch.
Cameras All Around
Sony's NGP has front- and rear-facing cameras, but that's all we know. Picture-taking seems a given, but what about video chat or augmented reality gaming? No word on camera resolution, either.
Frankly, I don't know what Sony is trying to communicate with this image. But now seems like a good time to mention that the NGP has a gyroscope and an accelerometer for motion-controlled gaming, plus an electronic compass in case you walk into a forest while deeply immersed in Uncharted or Killzone.
A View From Above
While the NGP's processor can handle PS3 games, you'd be missing one set of triggers on each side.
A View From the Side
At 0.73 inch, the NGP is just a little bit thicker than the PSP-3000, but it also has those protruding thumbsticks. You probably won't want to stash it in your pants pocket.
Sony is not showing much of the NGP's user interface yet, but this bubbly layout seems like an answer to smartphones' arrangements of apps. Note the 3G bars at the top left; Sony hasn't explained how wireless coverage will be priced or packaged, or whether it will even be available in the United States.
Sony NGP Specs
Okay, spec nerds, I can't be bothered to transcribe all the nitty-gritty details, so here's a snapshot of every tech spec that Sony has revealed so far.