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PSP2

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E3: Ignition announces Dragon's Crown for PS3, PS Vita


Jun 08
// Josh Tolentino
I love Vanillaware's games. It's as if they come from a world where polygons never really took hold, with the love, care and lust normally going into rendering dynamic lighting and self-shadowing textures being poured into c...
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New Destructoid Episode: War of the Colonial Vita Marines


Jun 01
// Tara Long
Evening, 'toiders! Time for another episode of that pesky video game show you've all grown to hate but watch anyway on the off chance one of us accidentally farts on camera. I can't wait for that day. In the meantime, I le...
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Sony domain points to WipEout Trinity


May 04
// Jordan Devore
Following prior talk of SCE Studio Liverpool bringing on additional talent for a "high-profile, futuristic racing franchise," we're seeing more rumors, this time in the form of a domain. WipEoutTrinity.com was registered by S...

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Sony promises same-day digital releases for NGP


Mar 18
// Jordan Devore
One of the biggest issues with the PlayStation Portable, especially when it comes to the PSPgo, was the tragic lack of availability for digital and UMD versions of games. We'd get one, or the other, and sometimes, if we were ...
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GDC 11: Sony says NGP is not as powerful as a PS3


Mar 03
// Jim Sterling
One of the earliest and most persistent rumors surrounding Sony's "Next Generation Portable" is that its power would be comparable to a PlayStation 3. Sony is wisely downplaying such claims now, making sure to let us know tha...
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Ngmoco: Sony NGP is 'dead on arrival'


Mar 02
// Jim Sterling
Leading mobile game developer ngmoco has something to say about the next generation of dedicated gaming handhelds, and it's not pretty! According to boss man Neil Young, the NGP is going to fail hard. "I think they are hurt; ...
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Guerrilla considering returning to PSP development


Feb 24
// Jim Sterling
Guerrilla last graced the PlayStation Portable with Killzone: Liberation way back in 2006. Since then, the studio has focused on the PS3, but producer Steven ter Heide has stated that it may return to portable games with...
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Sony dropped NGP features to keep it 'affordable'


Feb 14
// Jim Sterling
Sony has revealed that the impressive specifications for its PSP successor could have been even more astounding if price wasn't an issue. The NGP apparently had a few more tricks up its sleeve, but they were nipped in the bud...
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Badman series jumping to NGP? Sounds like it


Feb 09
// Jordan Devore
Word on the street is that the dungeon-building Badman series will show up on NGP next. At least, we're led to believe such things after this goofy tweet by the Lord of Destruction himself. Seems like the next plausible step,...

Counterpoint: Why Sony's PSP2 (NGP) will succeed

Feb 08 // Josh Tolentino
I'm going to start by saying that I will be the last person to call the PSP (or its intentions) a "failure." I don't believe that selling less than the DS automatically branded Sony the "loser" in this perceived race. I'm no business person. I don't have access to all the numbers, and as such I can't say whether Sony made enough off the PSP to write it off for themselves. What I can say, however, is that current estimates place the PSP's numbers at somewhere around sixty million. And currently, the PSP has been leading sales charts in Japan, and is on track to becoming the fifth best-selling platform of all time. That includes the numbers for the homebound "HD" consoles. Clearly, they're doing something right. That said, the PSP definitely has its faults, ones that ultimately undermine its ability to back up Sony's promises of taking the home console experience on the go. Most notable is the lack of that second analog stick, something integral to "big boy" gameplay of all kinds since the days of the first PlayStation. There's no denying that the PSP does provide some great, deep experiences, but most of them are hamstrung, leading most players to just wish they were sitting in a couch, staring at a big screen with two sticks at thumbpoint. Obviously, the NGP solves that particular issue. It's got proper analog sticks, and two of them to boot. But where does that leave us? Didn't the weaker, more "creative" DS prove that "concept-driven" (read: gimmicky) games triumph over ones that attempt to port "traditional" homebound gameplay? Why isn't Sony realizing that and instead producing a cheap-and-cheerful machine that does that kind of stuff, stuff that a PS3 or an Xbox 360 can't do? That's where the sea change comes in. What change am I talking about, you ask? I'm talking about the fact that gimmicky games are everywhere now. Now any platform, be it plugged in at home or on batteries in your hand, can employ a creative trick to support unique, special little games. We can actually thank the Wii and DS for that. Nintendo blazed the trail, and everyone else followed. Kinect for Xbox 360 and PlayStation Move would likely have never seen the light of day had the Wii Remote not started the trend. Put plainly, every platform is (generally speaking) now capable of the same level of gimmickry and concept-driven design as the DS and Wii. They've joined the party. That's not all, though. High-end games are more expensive to make than ever. About the last thing most publishers and developers want is for Sony and Microsoft (and Nintendo, eventually) to announce the PlayStation 4 or Xbox 720 or...whatever Nintendo decides to call its next money-printer. Even the platform holders themselves know this, and have been working feverishly to extend the lifespan of this generation. From diversifying development opportunities (read: new gimmicks for devs to play with) to beefing up their own collections of cheap-and-cheerful downloadable games, there's never been a better time for gamers to find something that can do anything or everything. That's where the NGP comes in. From a hardware perspective (and in theory), it really is a "do anything and everything" machine. Not only does it pack in every gimmick the DSi ever had (and more), it's got the controls and power to deliver a home console experience. Those demos of developers happily demonstrating their HD graphics engines running smoothly on the NGP are far more significant than you might realize, because now I can pull out an NGP and expect to play both "big boy" games (like Killzone) and quirky, gimmicky experiences (like Little Deviants or the inevitable Angry Birds iteration). All while I'm mobile. In retrospect, even the PSP could do that, hampered as it was. Games like Patapon and LocoRoco proved that the system could do more than ape its heavier, power-hungry cousins. And even then, the millions of people who buy Monster Hunter or the many lengthy JRPGs that made their home on the handheld prove that there is a market out there that wants a console-sized experience on the go, something that the current generation of smartphones and slate computers can't do for lack of "proper" console accoutrements. Now, with the front and rear touch screens, tilt sensors, cameras, and a level of online integration that in some ways even exceeds the capabilities of the PS3, so much more is possible. What about 3D, then? The 3DS can do that, and the NGP can't. That's true, but to be perfectly honest, I don't see 3D, glasses-free or not, being as important to new, innovative design. The 3DS simply isn't as much of a game-changer as the DS was. Take away the 3D (and tilt sensor), and the 3DS is basically a more powerful DS. In fact, I'm of the opinion that we're actually reaching the limits of what the basic DS setup can do in terms of new design opportunities, and I doubt the addition of 3D or a single analog thingamabob (that I still won't be able to play a proper shooter with) will push the envelope that much. I'd love to be proven wrong, though, and Nintendo has a history of doing that. Of course, this comes down to what developers actually do with the tech at their disposal. It always does, no matter the platform. The NGP might be perfectly capable of getting me some sweet time with Lost Planet 2, but in that case, it would be up to Capcom to make it work right. Then again, with that second stick it'd be way easier, yeah? And of course, there's the price. Sony hasn't announced one yet, and in all likelihood that versatility and power will come at an appropriately hefty cost. But then again, as I mentioned, I don't measure the NGP's success based on whether or not it will surpass the 3DS. For that matter, given the tech, the NGP could measure up to an iPad, which, fully loaded, costs significantly more than even the wildest NGP price point expectations. And Sony can likely guarantee that the NGP will be able to provide more in terms of hardcore gaming than Apple's glass behemoth. It's true, Sony has once again bet on hardware. But this time it didn't just put everything down on power. It's thrown some chips in with flexibility, too. Everyone else has, for that matter, because no one can afford not to. Now, what the NGP has that's unique is, in fact, the extra power. It can do all the weird, quirky things that the other handhelds can, but when you're bored or have some time, you can throw in a proper hardcore game. With the NGP, Sony's managed to (theoretically) straddle that space between concept and convention, and that's how it will succeed.
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[Note: We’re not just a (rad) news site -- we also publish opinions/editorials from our community & employees like this one, though be aware that they may not jibe with the opinions of Destructoid as a whole, or ...

Why Sony's PSP2 (NGP) will fail

Feb 07 // Samit Sarkar
As a company, Sony is adept at building sleek devices laden with bleeding-edge technology. But they have proven themselves less skilled at selling the mass market on those high-tech gadgets, especially in the gaming space since the last console generation. Of course, those issues are related: filling gaming devices with the latest and greatest tech ensures that they will be prohibitively expensive at launch and for many months thereafter, which, in turn, limits the potential market to technolust-afflicted early adopters. That was how the early years of the original PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 3 played out, which is to be expected when you price your hardware at $249 and $499/$599, respectively. Nintendo -- with both the DS and Wii -- provided the right mix of relatively cheap hardware with a gimmick and software with mass-market appeal. It remains to be seen whether the gimmick of glasses-free 3D will be enough to draw customers to the 3DS, especially in light of its $249 price tag and weak software lineup at launch. Still, I see a greater sales potential right now for the 3DS than for the NGP -- even at $249, $50 more than the Wii -- because the 3DS and Wii offer completely different experiences. Is it possible, even likely, that we’ll see spin-offs of Wii games on the 3DS? Sure, but they’ll still have to be designed specifically for the portable hardware. On the other hand, Sony is once again producing a high-powered handheld with the ostensible goal of replicating console games as closely as possible. Pack the power of a PS3 in your pocket, Sony whispers in your ear (where “PS2” stood in place of “PS3” at the launch of the PSP). That seems appealing -- at least, it appears tremendously impressive from a gosh-how-did-they-do-that standpoint. But upon closer inspection, the enthralling allure of “console-quality” graphics on a portable device gives way to a host of concerns, each more distressing than the last. Sony is touting the NGP as a handheld device capable of “console-quality” games. At PlayStation Meeting 2011, a cavalcade of publishers pledged their support for the NGP, trotting out their heavy-hitting console IPs: Uncharted, Lost Planet, Yakuza, Call of Duty. Sony presumably brought those companies on stage in the hopes that their presence would instill confidence in the NGP (since the PSP has always suffered from a lack of third-party support), and would impress the millions of fans of those franchises. Hideo Kojima came out and showed a cutscene from Metal Gear Solid 4 rendered natively on the NGP, running at 20 frames per second, as if to say, “Look at what this baby can do!” Were you impressed? I wasn’t. Sorry, but the prospect of console-quality games on a handheld doesn’t really excite me. If I want a console-quality experience, well, I’ll just play a console game, thankyouverymuch. Big-budget console titles are designed to immerse you within their finely crafted environments, and on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, an HDTV and surround sound go a long way toward that end. If I’m playing something like Uncharted or Killzone, I want to be sitting in front of a big-screen TV so I can really be drawn into the world, not hunched over and squinting at a five-inch screen while I’m on the subway. The idea that playing that kind of game on a small screen can resemble the console experience is almost as absurd as thinking you can truly experience a film on your “fucking telephone.” Yet many of the publisher representatives who presented games at the NGP unveiling seemed delighted by the ease with which they were able to produce NGP ports of PS3 engines. I don’t see much appeal in playing a console game that a developer has ported to a portable (because, again, I’d simply prefer to play it on a console, even if the NGP’s second analog stick makes console-to-portable ports more feasible). I’d much rather play games that have been built from the ground up for the NGP. Consider that the very best Wii games have been exclusives; they were developed with the unique characteristics of the console in mind. The same applies for any gaming system, but it is doubly true for distinctive devices like the 3DS and NGP. I expect to eventually see a handful of great non-ported, NGP-exclusive games like Little Deviants -- especially since the hardware offers a diverse array of inputs (e.g., rear touchpad, two cameras) -- but Sony’s initial emphasis on reproducing the graphical horsepower of console games is worrisome. Another argument against console-type experiences on a handheld device is the current state of the handheld gaming market, which has undergone a transformation since the PSP first launched six years ago. That sea change is, of course, the intrusion of smartphones. The future is obviously trending toward convergence -- toward a world where we carry around one pocket-size gadget that serves as a mobile phone, music and game player, and Web access device. I think there’s still a place for dedicated portable gaming systems -- at least for now -- since most of the games currently available on iOS and Android simply aren’t as deep or fulfilling as the experiences that devices such as the DS and PSP offer. But it seems to me that the market is trending toward convergence on the hardware side, and on the software side toward games that are designed to be played in bite-size chunks. The way in which people play portable games is already changing; more and more, the games that achieve success on the level of phenomena like Angry Birds or Brain Age can be experienced a few stages or puzzles at a time -- five minutes while standing in line at Chipotle, ten minutes while waiting for the bus. What was the last console game you played in that manner? I don’t know about you, but I completed Uncharted 2 in a few multiple-hour sittings. Those games just aren’t meant to be enjoyed like that, and if they’re going to work on the NGP, their developers will have to rework them completely. But if you ask me, it’s a moot point. I think that smartphone gaming will eventually grow to encompass the kinds of extensive portable experiences that currently exist only on the DS and PSP, in addition to today’s slate of mostly pithy games, which will pave the way for next-generation smartphones to make dedicated mobile gaming devices obsolete as the consumer desire for convergence skyrockets. The early-adopter types who are considering an NGP purchase probably already own smartphones, which are fairly expensive devices that are the current pinnacle of portable convergence. Whatever Sony ends up charging for the NGP -- and let’s face it, with all that wizardry under the hood, it’ll be a surprise if it comes in at less than $349 -- will you be willing to pay the price for something that is, at best, a (large) secondary portable device that you have to lug around in addition to your smartphone? Especially when many of the games aren’t meant to be played on the go? Sony is a hardware company first and foremost, and the NGP looks to be a beautifully designed handheld. The PSP was also a good-looking device -- and at the time, it contained all the bells and whistles a technophile could have wanted -- but it was hamstrung by its software: as if its game library weren’t enough of an issue, its endless stream of firmware updates frustrated users. On that note, Sony’s announcement of PlayStation Suite seems like a sensible contingency plan if the NGP doesn’t work out. I don’t expect the NGP to succeed, because it’s apparent that Sony hasn’t learned a vital lesson from the tough competition that the PSP and PS3 faced: a device may tick off every box on a gadget hound’s wish list, but that alone doesn’t make it future-proof.“NGP” may only be a codename at this point, but there’s really no more accurate name for the system than “PSP2.” It is very much a successor to the PSP, which boasted of being able to reproduce the console experience on portable hardware. The NGP is an evolution of the PSP -- Sony clearly believes that doubling down on raw power is the way to go. They might as well come out and say it.
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[Editor’s note: We’re not just a (rad) news site -- we also publish opinions/editorials from our community & employees like this one, though be aware that they may not jibe with the opinions of Destructoid as ...

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Killzone NGP developed by Cambridge Studio


Feb 04
// Jim Sterling
SCE Cambridge Studio, the team behind Medievil and LittleBigPlanet PSP, are working on the portable version of Killzone. The shooter is heading to Sony's "Next Generation Portable" and is in "good hands", according to Guerril...
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NGP trailer shows Killzone, Uncharted, LittleBigPlanet


Feb 02
// Jim Sterling
Now this is how you get me excited for your handheld, Sony! Stop showing me conceptual trailers full of idiotic douchebags, and concentrate on the software. Good show! This software lineup commercial reveals a wonderful amou...
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Jaffe: NGP is like a fresh pussy


Jan 30
// Jim Sterling
Famous author Arthur C. Clarke once said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Famous game developer David Jaffe once said, "New hardware is like new pussy." Truly, the spirit of Clarke is b...
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Destructoid: Carmen Sandiego, Gang Bangs, and The PSP2


Jan 28
// Max Scoville
Good news everyone! We've just completed work on the latest episode of The Destructoid Show. In this episode, our heroes discuss WTF the 411 on the PSP2, AKA the NGP is. OMG. If that's not portable Sony news for you, w...
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Sony doesn't believe in 3D handhelds


Jan 28
// Jim Sterling
Sony has revealed that it considered aping the 3DS' visual gimmickry for its upcoming PSP successor, but decided against it because 3D should be a shared, family experience. Apparently eyestrain headaches love company.  ...
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Debunk: No, GameStop WON'T sell the NGP for $1,000


Jan 27
// Jim Sterling
GameStop has started to take preorders for the freshly revealed PSP successor, codenamed the Next Generation Portable. However, some people have gotten their panties in a bunch over the price estimate, which lists the console...

Destructoid discusses Codename: NGP, the PSP successor

Jan 27 // Jim Sterling
Nick Chester: Yeah. So... about that new PlayStation handheld?  Jim Sterling: Hooboy, it sure is handheld! Matthew Razak: That fancy Portable Next Generation is pretty big. Does it remind anyone else of a Game Gear? Chester: I don't know what it reminds me of, because I'm still trying to wade through all of the bullshit buzzwords Sony dropped in its press release on the thing. Seriously, it was just a bunch of nonsense. Also, call me when Sony announces that there will be two or three models, and the least expensive of them will cost $400. And they'll try to convince us that's a good deal.  Conrad Zimmerman: I expect it'll have the same battery life as the Game Gear. With the quad-core processor draining shit, people aren't going to be able to use all of those newfangled wireless capabilities for very long. Sterling: It's cool, and if they did a proper Killzone FPS on it, I'd spunk up. But Sony burned me several times with the first PSP so I am going to go into this very warily.  Right now, it's the PlayStation Suite that I'm most excited for. Sony content on my Android? Yes plz! Zimmerman: Yeah, that's what I've been saying is going to be the real coup of this event. The behemoth that is Sony finally lumbering into the mobile space not only with hardware but a platform-agnostic software framework? That's the story that will have far greater impact than the PSP2. Chester: If you expect any of that shit to run properly on your device, you're out of your mind. Also, good luck playing any PS1 game with a touch screen. Sterling: "Rawr rawr I'm Nick Chester!" That's my impression of you in this discussion, Nick Chester. Chester: Whatever. You have to be realistic. It looks impressive, but so did the PSP when it was announced six years ago or whatever. And look where that landed us. It's clear there's a lot of high end tech in this thing, but what does that mean for games outside of "Hey, it's a PS3 in your hand!" That's great, but coming from someone who plays his handhelds on his couch or in bed... who cares? If you want a new Killzone, you've got it -- it's on your TV. I know how much you travel and commute, Jim: you don't. Why do you care?  This thing is also going to cost a million dollars, and we all know it. Sony can't reasonably price hardware. On the Android thing -- seriously, let's get real here. The hardware wasn't designed for games. I have what's considered a "high end" Android phone with the EVO 4G, and the motherfucker CHUGS when I'm playing Fruit Ninja sometimes. FRUIT NINJA. Sterling: I'm fucking around, Nick. I actually agree with you on a lot of points. Even when I do commute, I usually listen to music more than I play games. But I do like handheld games, so I don't know what's up there.  In any case, I am tentatively eager to see what this thing can do, but I am definitely staying realistic. The PSPgo and PlayStation Move killed my faith in Sony products, at least from an early adoption standpoint. I don't want to drop another several hundred dollars on something that won't be supported, or have a terrible infrastructure. I'm adopting a wait-and-see approach, but I don't want to be bratty and dump on what does look like a cool bit of tech. As far as PS Suite goes, I'm still waiting to see. I am excited about that. I understand touch screens aren't great for traditional games, but some notable innovations have come from it. Gameloft have made games work on the iOS that I would've thought impossible, so we'll see. Sure, controls will be compromised, but I anticipate that at least a few Suite games will work surprisingly well. Jonathan Holmes: That's why I think the PS Phone (or Xpedia, or whatever it's called) will be a lot of fun. Good controls on phone games. I wanted that. That might be my first smart phone. Razak: I feel like Sony is making the exact same mistakes it made with the PS3 and PSP here. Over powered, but nothing that catches people's attention. It'll sit on shelves much the same way, I fear.However, the Suite and Phone could mean big things. I could see those taking off much faster as long as they work. Sterling: Oh yeah Matt, I agree there. What we have with the 3DS vs. NGP is almost an exact rehash of the DS vs. PSP battle. The technically inferior system at a cheap price with a quirky, attention-grabbing gimmick versus raw, expensive power. With the mass market, cheap n' quirky beats expensive and powerful. That's one area where Sony is totally out of touch. It doesn't take an analyst to predict that the 3DS will trounce the NGP. Chester: My biggest issue with the PS Suite stuff is simply hardware. I'd say that a large percentage of Android phones out there can't even handle some of the games and content being pushed out there right now. Look at the release of Trendy's Dungeon Defenders, the Unreal Engine-powered game -- most folks are having trouble playing that on their hardware because it wasn't designed to support something that powerful. I can't play it on my EVO, and I haven't even tried because of the poor comments from EVO users the game has been getting. I don't expect most phones on the market right now to be able to play PS One games, and I put myself in that camp of users. Holmes: So wait, the NGP has a "rear" touch pad? Am I missing something here?Isn't that like having your ass where your face should be? Chester: See, I didn't even know that, that's how bogged down with specs and features this thing is. It's like everything and the kitchen sink was put into this handheld, and it's just completely overwhelming to the point where I can't seem to care. WTF am I going to do with a rear touch pad? Sterling: Rub your dick against it while playing. Zimmerman: The rear touchpad thing has been in the rumors since there were rumors. It's so you can operate the touchpad without blocking your screen, or something.  Sounds awkward to me, but I can see possible applications. Holmes: They should have just copied the DS feature-for-feature, but improved on them. Sony has never had good original ideas hardware and interface-wise, but they are awesome at taking other people's ideas and making the better. Razak: People aren't going to "get" the rear touch-pad either. I mean, gamers will, but you run out to the general public and go look at this cool rear touch pad and they're going to look at you quizzically and then start tapping their stylus on their 3DS some more. It feels to me like the kind of tech that's cool and innovative, but no one picks up on because it just doesn't catch. It could also suck very easily for many, many reasons. Zimmerman: But, like I was saying the other day, I don't know that the processing capability is going to be as much of a concern as time goes on. 4G is some pretty fast shit, though it needs standardization. With the rate at which mobile broadband is improving, combined with cloud computing, I don't think it's unrealistic to expect a service like OnLive could become a distribution venue for more powerful mobile game. PS Suite therefore allows Sony to lay the groundwork for a long-term strategy in mobile gaming. If it works as a platform-agnostic system and allows Sony to develop for any of the platforms, that's highly valuable and could pull the rug out from under everybody in the end. Sterling: Regarding the touchpad, it seems more for showing off than for anything practical. I *am* a gamer and I don't get it. I don't know if my brain will comprehend anything more complicated than "rub the back of the system randomly to make stuff happen." Anything more complicated and I don't think I'll be able to retain it.  Not to mention, it's a handheld -- my hands are back there, holding the system up. I hope that won't screw a game up. Chester: I'm firmly in the camp that over the next ten years, we'll be playing everything from the cloud, OnLive or Gaikai style. But that has nothing to do with Sony's current Android offerings, which rely on hardware. Whether it lays the foundation for Sony's future plans in the space remains to be seen, but PS Suite as it stands doesn't do anything for me, because I'm positive my hardware won't play nice with it. Colette Bennett: I don't care what it does. I'm not paying $400 for a portable gaming device no matter what. Josh Tolentino: I'm with Colette in that I won't pay $400, but if I heard the event correctly, didn't they say that NGP would be backwards-compatible with the downloadable PSP games?  I know a lot of you don't care about the PSP's software lineup, but that's good news to me. The PSP has some amazing games, and if I can have at least some level of access to those at some point, it's big plus for me. Bennett: That is a plus for me too -- I like the PSP library a lot, esp RPGs....but I don't need a portable PS3 with shitty battery life, cause I already own a PS3 that I can plug in =/ Razak: The power of the PS3 bragging point does absolutely nothing for me, nor will it for most consumers who pick up a portable gaming system to have quick fun. I play my DS and PSP as serious gaming systems, but the entire design around this seems to ignore the fact that most people don't. Then again, if they're hoping to corner some iPad market with the larger screen and more social networking then maybe that could work. However, the marketing would have to go in a completely different direction to hook in that crowd. Holmes: Josh, I like Backwards compatibility too, but I own a crap load of UMDs. No UMD compatibility means no real backwards compatibility, at least for me. I'm sure that the Japanese audience will be thinking the same thing. UMDs sell by the truckloads there. I'm not so sure they huge Japanese PSP audience is going to be too keen on dropping their huge library of UMD games just to jump ship to the NGP. In a way, I think it all depends on who gets the first new portable Monster Hunter. If it's the 3DS, then the NGP is screwed in Japan, at least initially. If it's the NGP, they'll probably do alright. My bet is on the 3DS though. I don't see 3rd parties supporting the NGP right away, largely due to development costs. That's just me guessing that the NGP game development will cost like PS3/360 games, and not Wii/PSP/3DS games. Chester: I agree -- the fact that it can push PlayStation 3 visuals or whatever is impressive, and in action I'm sure I'll appreciate it, but that's not something that factors in for me when playing portable games. If Plants vs. Zombies were rendered using the Unreal Engine and looked as impressive technically as Infinity Blade, I don't think that would change how I felt about the game. If I'm going to have to sacrifice things like my hard-earned dollars, battery life, and load times -- things that are really important to me in portable games -- then I'm not interested in a portable PS3.  Also on that note, if simply having that kind of power just means folks are going to try to make console experiences on a handheld, that's disappointing. I'm interested in playing a new Uncharted adventure, regardless of what platform its on, this is true. But if it's just a game that tries to mimic the look and feel of its console big brothers on a handheld, I'd much prefer to be playing that game sitting on my couch. Tolentino: Price point concerns aside, I like to look at the PSP platform from the perspective of your average Japanese Monster Hunter player, even if it's not necessarily relevant to what I do every day as a person with near-constant access to a powerful gaming PC and PS3. That's important because Monster Hunter and their ilk are basically what saved the platform years ago and continue to prop it up today. So what does the NGP have to offer the Monster Hunter player? It offers the Monster Hunter player the promise that they can play the next Monster Hunter game and feel like they're not missing out on what the game might be if it were on a home console. Basically, what I see is a handheld that, gets handheld gaming out of its technological ghetto. We're always talking about the whole graphical arms race and how gamers are too obsessed with it, and one of the results of that obsession is a disregard of handheld games because of their technical inferiority, like the way a lot of people dismissed Valkyria Chronicles II because it was on the PSP, and couldn't handle the beautiful art style. With the NGP we're closer than ever to being able to emulate a home console gameplay experience in a handheld. True, that was kind of the supposed situation with the PSP way back when, but with the extra analog stick, the (apparently) better integrated online stuff, and so on, the transition is closer to 1:1 than it was then. So to offer a point on Jonathan's that who-gets-the-first-Monster-Hunter-game-idea, I would much rather play a Monster Hunter game where I can control the camera with the right stick. Wait, does the 3DS have a right stick? Oops. And as for doing something different, who knows what they can do with those touchpads. I imagine with some (not inconsiderable) reworking, a game with the 3DS gimmick (sans 3D) could be made to work with the NGP. It's all up in the air for me at this point. Holmes: No, you're right Josh, the 3DS doesn't have a right stick. Monster Hunter would definitely control better on the NGP. That said, my bet is still on the next Monster Hunter coming to the 3DS, for the 3D, for the nearly-guaranteed massive global install base, and because I'm guessing 3DS games will be cheaper to develop for. To speak to Nick and Matt's points, the 3DS is looking to offer something different than just "a home console experience in your hand", while the NGP that seems to be exactly what the NGP is going for. I know that personally, I want to own them both, but I'm not guessing most people will feel that way. Chester: What I got from what you just said, Josh, is that it comes down to games. And that's very true, to a point. It comes down to games like Monster Hunter in Japan, for sure. The PSP had a lot of great software for gamers like yourself, like Colette, like Dale... it was a very RPG, Japanese-centric platform, and that's great. Not great for me, and not great for North American gamers (which is maybe why it never truly seemed to take off in the states). It's going to come down to software, but not only that, it's going to come down to unique software. At least for me.  The the idea of Call of Duty on a handheld really isn't doing anything for me, honestly. But let's think about something that might... a portable Team Ico game. That sounds great, right? But what about this particular game is going to make me want to play it on a portable, over something like the PS3? Is it just going to be Shadow of the Colossus on a portable? People would go nuts over that idea, but when you stop and think about it, what's the point?  Right now, it's too early to say what developers have in store for this thing. I feel like I'm too hung up on the thing's power and its specs -- Sony is pushing that a lot. It's the "arms race," like you said, Josh. Sony always gets into this game, coming out of the gate with untouchable hardware that it hopes will wow everyone into throwing dollars their way. It's easy to get excited about what a platform CAN do, and this NGP certainly looks capable of doing everything other portables can do and maybe even better. But what it comes down to, for me, is what it WILL do. Bennett: I just don't think gamers that want the cutting edge of what's new in games want to play it on a small screen, no matter how big said screen may be for its size. I think they'd rather play that game on a big screen. Maybe I am wrong, I don't know, but I think of my handheld gaming experiences and my console ones in completely different terms. Julio Capote: Our image server seems to have gone down, it's back up now. Chester: I can't believe we hijacked a tech issue thread with game discussion. Bennett: I can.
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In the dead of night, Sony lifted the lid on the long-awaited PSP successor, a system codenamed Next Generation Portable. In addition to this, it also revealed a cross-platform mobile gaming service, the PlayStation Suite.&nb...

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Sony: NGP will be 'affordable'


Jan 27
// Jim Sterling
So the NGP has been announced, a successor to the PSP with quad-core, 3G, twin sticks, a touchpad, intense graphics and motion sensing. As we find ourselves drowning in specifications, only one question remains unanswered -- ...
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NGP battery life = four to five hours?


Jan 27
// Jim Sterling
Even though this is being presented as a rumor, it seems so damn inevitable that it's almost worth running as a "Captain Obvious" post before it's even been confirmed. Nevertheless, rumblings suggest that Sony's new handheld ...
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NGP to dump UMD for flash-based memory cards


Jan 27
// Jim Sterling
Sony's "Next Generation Portable" will mark the end of the UMD format, with Sony ditching the discs for games stored flash-based memory cards.  According to the publisher, these cards can not only store a full game, but ...
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Sony showed a lot of both hardware and software at today's PlayStation Meeting 2011. So what games do we know of for the device? Live demonstrations of Uncharted and Hot Shots Golf were performed at the event, as we...

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Pachter: 3DS will outsell PSP2


Jan 19
// Jim Sterling
Industry analyst Michael "Spider Pants" Pachter has gone out on a limb to suggest that the 3DS will win the next iteration of the handheld console war, destined as it is to outsell Sony's yet-to-be-announced PlayStation Porta...
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'PSP2 vs. 3DS is like PSP vs. DS'


Jan 14
// Jim Sterling
When Nintendo revealed that 3DS games would received a fairly significant graphical upgrade, it looked like the company was finally meeting some visual standards. However, the bar looks set to be raised even higher, with PSP2...
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Rumor: PSP2 powerful as PS3, dual sticks, Q4 launch


Jan 13
// Jim Sterling
It's time for your daily dose of PSP2 rumoring, with the latest details once again hyping the system's power, as well as hinting at the most requested feature of all -- twin analog sticks.  The bit making headlines is th...
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Rumor: PSP2 revealed on January 27


Jan 12
// Jim Sterling
According to the omnipresent ANONYMOUS SOURCE, Sony is set to officially unveil the PlayStation Portable successor console on January 27. The long-rumored, practically-confirmed, might-as-well-not-be-kept secret PSP2 has been...
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Kaz Hirai confirms PSP2 touchpad controls


Dec 23
// Jim Sterling
Sony Computer Entertainment boss Kaz Hirai seems to realize that, despite the PSP2 not being announced, we all know it's a thing. In fact, he was quite open about the console in a New York Times interview, going so far as to ...
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Portable Uncharted and LittleBigPlanet 2 rumored


Dec 20
// Nick Chester
Sony bringing its biggest franchises to handhelds? Shocking!The original LittleBigPlanet found itself a successful port on the PlayStation Portable, sure, so why not the game's sequel? There's one on the way, according to ret...
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Pachter now thinks the PSP2 could succeed


Dec 10
// Jim Sterling
Earlier in the week, industry analyst Michael "Sparkle Boy" Pachter claimed that the PSP2 would be "dead on arrival" just like he believes its predecessor was. In a remarkable U-turn, however, the fortune teller has...

The PSP2: What We Want

Dec 08 // Jim Sterling
To be able to switch on the PSP and play a game within the hour: If the PSP is to be believed, nobody has yet discovered technology that allows us to switch on a games device and play games on it without having to take an entire day off work, but we really hope Sony cracks it with the PSP2. Experience with the PSP has taught us that if you want to play a game, you need to reschedule your week. Here's a nice example of what happened to me when I had a hankering for Killzone: Liberation ... I found my PSPgo buried in my closet after months without use. The PSPgo battery was completely drained because I hadn't turned it on. The PSP wouldn't charge from the USB because it was drained. I went back to the closet to dig out the wall socket plug that came with the PSPgo because using an older PSP power chord was too convenient. I plugged the PSPgo in and turned it on, heading straight to the PlayStation Store. Firmware update required.  Downloaded firmware. Attempted to install firmware. Informed the PSPgo had not sufficiently charged.  Waited. Watched some Christian evangelical television, which so far was more amusing and entertaining than my PSP experience that day.  Firmware installed, PSN accessed, PSN cash card used.  PSN cash card expired. PSN cash card expired. PSN cash card worked on the third attempt.  Server timeout. PS Store closed down. Reconnected to the Internet, opened PlayStation Store again. Started to download Killzone: Liberation.  Five hours after first digging my PSPgo from the closet, it was ready.  Played a chapter. Got bored with the idea of the PSP. Played on the iPod.  If Sony could develop technology, possibly using science, in order to cut this process down to an hour, or at most two hours, then I think we've be living in a grand new era.  To have it made properly the first time around: When a videogame ships with technical errors, it can be patched for the cost of an Internet connection. It's not cool and it encourages sloppy development, but at least there is a free recourse. When a game system is shipped with technical errors, it can be patched ... but you have to buy a whole new iteration of the console to get it.  The original PSP-1000 shipped with dead pixels, broken UMD trays, and an inordinate amount of dust that kept getting under the screen and was impossible to remove without the whole thing being taken apart. It would be utterly fantastic if Sony would design the PSP2 properly the first time around, rather than issuing the hardware equivalent of a $300 patch once per year.  To have a digital distribution method that isn't fucking insulting: The release of the PSPgo made it appear, at first, as if Sony was getting serious about offering a competitive digital download solution. Unfortunately, that turned out to be a load of old wank because Sony made no efforts to commit to it. Digital versions of retail games were offered at full retail price, and were sometimes even more expensive than the likes of Amazon could offer physical copies. At one point, Amazon was selling the limited edition of Persona Portable, with fancy packaging and extra content, for less than the PlayStation Store was selling an unadorned digital copy. It was a fucking joke and a slap in the face to anybody who embraced digital content.  Oh, and lest we forget that many new releases went up on the PS Store a week late, or sometimes even longer. In the case of a few, they never went up at all! This is before we get to PSP Minis, Sony's answer to mobile gaming applications. It was crap. It is crap. Games that were available on iTunes for peanuts were popping up on the PlayStation Store at inflated prices that completely failed to compete. Tetris, for example, launched at $10 on the PSP Minis channel, despite the exact same game selling for half the price on iTunes. Pathetic.  Sony itself did nothing to help the situation, passing the buck onto developers and saying it was their choice. Then we found out it was because developers needed to submit PSP Minis to the ESRB and Sony had nothing in place to help cover those costs. Sony, by absolving itself of all responsibility, condemned its own service to obscurity and pointlessness. Smooth move.  So yeah, maybe the PSP2 can do something that isn't that.  To boast a competent online experience: Wi-fi has evolved since 2005, when the PSP-1000 first launched. You wouldn't believe it if you picked up a PSPgo though, which is still slower than a shitting snail and only half as stable. Many people download PSP games on their PS3s and then transfer them over because it's faster than using the PSP itself. Gamers shouldn't be introducing extra steps for themselves because it's more convenient than trying to do everything in one place.  Using the PSP to browse the Internet is pretty awful as well. What was once billed as the "Walkman of the 21st century" really isn't all that useful for much. My iPod Touch is fast, efficient, and gets the job done when I want to check my emails without stepping into the office. Simply thinking about using the PSP to do that makes me want to scoop my eyes out and shove them up my urethra.  If the PSP2 would like to be a useful, competent handheld device that competes with other portable entertainment systems, a fast Wi-fi capability that doesn't time out if you sneeze would be a must. Let's have a system that doesn't have to re-connect every time you close the browser, that doesn't take forever to load or download, and is actually enjoyable to take online. Do you think you could manage that, guys? To not have it feel like it's made out of glass: The Nintendo DS is durable and protected by its clamshell design. It's a system you feel could survive getting dropped a couple times. In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and claim that it's a system designed to survive in a portable environment. Imagine that! The PSP, with its exposed screen, intricate design, flimsy case and focus on style over durability is not designed to survive in a portable environment. Scratches, scuffs and downright breakages haunt the PSP at every turn. Its weak buttons and thin, shiny surfaces require one to treat it like a baby with brittle bone disease. It looks absolutely gorgeous, I'll grant you that. But looks don't count for much if you can't survive outside of a comfy bedroom full of soft, fluffy pillows.  The PSP2 should be designed as a system you can actually take out of the house. It's crazy I know, but when I hear the word "portable" I don't just think "small." I believe portable means something that can be carried around safely and conveniently, not just something that fits in my pocket. Not that I'd dare keep a current PSP in my pocket. I'd be afraid of the fabric scratching it to shit.  To have some real software support: Yes, we all know, the PSP has plenty of good games. It really does. In fact, Sony itself put out some really good titles this past year. But remember ... the PSP launched in 2005. When you spread the PSP's library over half a decade, it looks far less impressive. In fact, as stated above, my PSP sat in a closet for months. When I turned it on, there was a saved game state for Valhalla Knights 2. That's the last time I picked the bloody thing up.  The PSP2 needs to have some real publisher support, not just a decent game from Square Enix or Konami every couple of months. For some reason, developers aren't keen to put games on an expensive system that doesn't shift a lot of software and is plagued by piracy. Hopefully Sony can make the PSP2 more appealing for developers, in a way that doesn't boil down to, "Release loads of firmware updates that don't solve the problem."  Right now, the 3DS has a ton of support before release and that's what is making it appealing, far more than its analog nub, improved graphics and 3D shtick. Software is still important to this industry, and Sony forgot that with the first PSP. Maybe work on releasing more games this time around, rather than releasing a new PSP SKU every damn year.  To not have it built and marketed by a bunch of shitting chimps: The PSP is a fantastic piece of technology. Unfortunately, it's fantastic technology that was put together and subsequently marketed by a group of apes who had no idea how to deal with the handheld market. Maybe the PSP2 can make portable media fun and fast to utilize, maybe it can be a flexible system that doesn't offer inferior methods of enjoying music, movies and games. The PSP has the tools to be a superior portable entertainment system, but those tools are being used by idiots. Get someone who understands the portable market behind the steering wheel and the PSP2 will be amazing.  The PSP2 could also stand to have some intelligent PR people working for it. No more schizophrenic advertising where the PSP is for adults one day, teenagers another day and kids the following week. That kind of bullshit doesn't inspire consumer confidence. Sony gives the impression that it doesn't know who the PSP is for, so why should a customer feel it's something they want? The PSP2 needs to pick a demographic and stick to it. Trying to appeal to everyone when you can't appeal to anyone doesn't work.  Oh, and no Marcus. DO. NOT. USE. MARCUS to advertise the PSP2. He's a fucking cunt and nobody likes him. Stop putting him in commercials.  No PSP2go: Ever. Ever ever ever. 
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Sony is terrible at keeping secrets. Killzone 3, Resistance 3, the PS3 Slim, the PSPgo, Sony has no end of cats to let out of its bag, and rare is the time we are ever surprised. The PSP2 looks set to continue this trend, wit...


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