Amidst the recent rumor mill surrounding the next gen PSP, Sony revealed the successor, dubbed NGP, (next gen portable) yesterday at a company meeting.  Engadget.com provided all the juicy details as I sat giddy and impatient like a preteen at a Bieber concert.  Sony delivered.

We all knew that Sony would not simply abandon it’s 33% market share -not counting apple or other smartphones – and leave  Nintendo to have its way with our wallets; no that would be plain wrong.  The cat – or should I say sabertooth tiger – is out of the bag and I think fans will be pleased for the most part.  The device is beautiful; abandoning the failure that is the PSP GO Sony mostly reverted back to the original PSP design and it’s certainly for the better.  I say mostly because it seems that the shortcomings of the original have largely been worked out – particularly with the inclusion of a second analog stick on the NGP.

The graphics look great, about 80% of what the PS3 can do in my analysis of the early footage.  Konami’s Hedio Kojima (director of the Metal Gear series) put strong emphasis on cross platform compatibility between the PS3 and NGP – with some tweaking, of course.  A very selling point the system, yet this ideology has some problems.  Fans of the original PSP can remember the slew of PS2 ports on that systems a few years back.  The PSP was also billed as having ‘nearly PS2 level graphics’; which roughly translated as ‘Nearly playable Ps2 ports’.  Ports are great in some cases, yet definitely not in others. Hopefully the cost of making NGP software does not exceed the level of creativity needed to really make a console shine.

Speaking of cost, Sony has not revealed the expected pricing for any regions, although claims that the device will be available holiday season 2011.  A price point bellow $300 is definitely out of the question considering the Arm cortex A9 quad core CPU, SGX543MP4 Quad core GPU and the gorgeous 960×544 OLED touch screen and 3G networking.  Based on the pricing Sony chose to go with  the PS3, (i.e. high) I’m guessing the unit will go for something near $350, still a bargain depending on first year software.

10 months down the line Apple should not be ruled out as a threat to both Sony’s and Nintendo’s new toys.  The cortex A9 cpu is not exclusive to Sony and is likely to be used in a future iteration of the iphone/ipod, along with a glasses free 3D screen.  Microsoft has also been watching attentively for an opportunity to grab up some market share – it’s only a matter of time and money before they throw in their 2 trillion cents.

I’m truly excited about Sony’s next portable console; the ergonomics look tight, the functionality seems sound,  and hopefully the battery life is comparable to the original.  I think Software and price point will ultimately determine the success of Sony’s little powerhouse.  Now the true question remains: Can it play Crysis?

Source: Engadget.com

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