I am sure a lot of you have been waiting for this day to come, when Sony finally announced the next generation Playstation Portable, considering that their yet to be released Xperia Play device (or Playstation Phone) was already making waves in both the mobile phone and gaming industry, sporting Android under the hood and promising you mobile gaming goodness the Sony way.
Now, here we have the much anticipated upgrade to the Playstation Portable line. The Playstation Portable 2 (codenamed NGP). And honestly, I am quite excited with what I see here and in the next series of press shots that I’ll be including.
More after the jump.
First off, let’s look at the specs:
Just looking at the CPU alone speaks volumes of how powerful this device would be, sporting a quad core processor under the hood. There are two cameras, one for the front and one for the rear where I’ve seen some augmented reality gaming implementations done on the demos. There are also a slew of sensors like an accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetic compass which adds several new elements to the PSP gaming experience. There’s also built-in GPS and Wi-Fi support. GPS is definitely new but I guess that could also mean future game releases would have some networking and location based capabilities similar to how Xbox Live operates. And if you’re wondering how the PSP2 will get onto the internet to post whatever achievements you’ve accomplished on your latest RPG or FPS when there’s no Wi-Fi connection in range, there’s built in 3G on this device.
There’s just so many new things internally with this device that the possibilities of mobile gaming are bubbling endlessly in my mind.
But there’s also a lot to see on the externals.
At first glance, the most distinct difference, at least for me, with the new PSP2 is the analog controller. It’s no longer just some nub but appears to be a real analog controller similar in fashion to that of actual Playstation controllers and now there’s two instead of just one on the left side. Makes me wonder if it’s also possible to pair this up with your PS3 and use this as a control pad and use the built-in display as an additional info display for your games (i.e. HUD for racing games, etc.) and leave the actual view of the game on the large monitor.
The press pic makes it look like the front panel is matte finish but seeing the press shots from the event show that front panel is still glossy which is a letdown since this would be awesome of the front display really was matte finish. This is also starting to look like one very bulky device with all the high-tech internals.
Something new to see in the rear is the absence of the UMD panel. Instead, there are rubber grip grooves, a rear-view camera and a touch/trackpad at the back. How this will be used for games is up to the game developers but this should be an interesting element to add for any future Patapon releases (if they will still release new Patapon games), as well as any rhythm based games. But that’s just one possibility. There’s so many gaming elements that can utilize the trackpad at the back and adds that multitouch “button” element.
Probably one of the most exciting hardware features, for me at least, that came with the PSP2 would be its high resolution touchscreen display. The pixel count is significantly larger than the first PSP and at the same time, it has capacitive touchscreen capabilities. So we already have a capacitive touchpad at the back and now even our display is a touchscreen display.
Christmas in January! And allegedly, the device comes out at the end of the calendar year.
Am I excited about this device? Absolutely! I can say I am even more excited about this now than I was with the 3DS when it was announced, complete with actual release dates.
But I do have some thoughts/questions about this device.
- It packs quite a lot of hardware inside. I suppose they’ll provide a higher capacity battery inside?
- How long will its battery last?
- Would it be significantly be heavier than the previous PSP?
- What is the pricetag? The features on this thing rival that of high end smartphones.
- How will it sell alongside the Xperia Play?
So are you getting one? I probably might.