Well, the Sony PlayStation Meeting 2011 has just finished in Japan and we know now all the latest juicy tidbits about the newest member of the PlayStation family, the PSP2. Which is apparently now called the NGP, at least for the moment. Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kaz Hirai took the stage to start off the event, which didn’t just focus on the new handheld. First, Hirai talked about the PlayStation Suite.
The PlayStation Suite will be on Android devices sometime in 2011. It will provide original PS1 game emulation and be hardware neutral. The PS1 games purchased from the Android PlayStation Store will be PlayStation Certified to be the highest quality possible and look the same on all Droid devices.
Aside from the brief opening statements discussing the PlayStation Suite, the event focused solely on the PSP2. The codename for the device is NGP – Next Generation Portable. The system shown was oval shaped and black, with two micro analog sticks on the front of the system, directly below the standard directional pad and X, O, square and triangle buttons. A 5″ OLED touch screen is directly in the center of the system and, as rumors have been stating, it has a 5″ touch panel on the back as well. The system overall looks to be the same size as a current PSP-3000 unit, and has built-in front and rear cameras and six-axis controls. The device is also flash memory-based, with 3G and WiFi enabled. Good news for us, it will supposedly be out this holiday season, before 2011 ends!
Players will navigate their NGP using LiveArea, the new user interface. It will rely on touch screen controls, and will let users access the PlayStation Store, learn more about available games, see what your friends are playing and comment on what they are doing. The system will also have Near installed on it, which is like a tag mode. You can see what other NGP owners in your area are doing or playing around you. The LiveArea mock-up screen shown at the event also had a button representing trophies!
Sony also decided to announce a few games that will be headed to the NGP. Here’s what you have to look forward to!
- Gravity Daze
- Hot Shot Golf
- Hustle Kings
- Little Deviants
- Reality Fighters
- Smart As
Shuhei Yoshida, Worldwide Studios president, actually played Uncharted at the event. The back touch pad could be used to move Drake around, and the six-axis controls could be used to make him jump. Yoshida was also able to touch the front OLED screen to make Drake jump or move. I hope you like multiple control schemes!
Yoshida later went on to play Little Deviants, further showing off the rear touch panel control scheme. He used two fingers on the back to control the characters on screen and, since both the front screen and touch panel are 5″, they directly correspond to one another. He also went on to play a bit of Hot Shots Golf, to show how the touch screen controls and how moving the NGP could change the in-game point of view.
You won’t have to just rely on the NGP titles mentioned. It will also be compatible with the games that are made available through the PlayStation Suite, mentioned earlier. The NGP will also be backwards compatible with downloadable PSP games and Monster Hunter Portable 3rd was even shown playing on the device. In addition, Capcom, Sega, Konami, Activision, Epic and Koei representatives appeared at the event, stating that all six developers are making games for the NGP. Konami’s Hideo Kojima did say that the company would have an PS3/NGP game announcement at E3 2011. Epic Games’ Tim Sweeny showed a Dungeon Defenders NGP clip. Of course, Activision made sure to announced that there would be a NGP Call of Duty game.
A few tech demos were also shown off, to show the NGP could be capable of PS3 quality games. Here’s what each company showed off:
- Capcom showed Lost Planet
- Sega showed Yakuza 4
- Koei showed a Sengoku Musou (Dynasty Warriors) game
- Konami showed Metal Gear Solid 4
Bear in mind, these demos don’t mean that those games will be ported to the NGP, so don’t get your hopes up!
The PlayStation Meeting 2011 also gave Sony a chance to offer some updated numbers about the PlayStation Network. apparently, there are over 69 million accounts, and those accoung holders have downloaded over 1.4 billion items from the PlayStation Store. They also made sure to point out that the whole PSN network experience is free.
Image Source: PlayStation Meeting 2011