A few hours ago in Japan, Sony held a large press conference to reveal a couple cool things including the long-awaited PSP successor. Firstly Sony revealed that they will be releasing PSOne games through the Android Marketplace for Android phones and devices (such as a tablet). This makes sense due to the upcoming Sony Xperia Play phone, which has a slide out PlayStation controller and runs on Android. Sony still didn’t announce the phone itself though.
What Sony did reveal is even cooler though. Dubbed the NGP, or Next Generation Portable (obviously a working title), it is the real successor to the PSP. Its specs match those which were leaked out previously, but the real performance of the thing left people incredibly impressed. The system truly is a portable PlayStation 3, and it even has the games you’d expect.
To prove it, Sony showed off Uncharted running on the handheld and it looked identical to the 2007 PS3 original. The demo they played used the dual analog and normal controls, but also supported both the touch screen and the touch pad on the back of the system. Following that demo, they showed off the expected Golf game that Sony always demos as these things and then they brought up third parties to show how quick and easy they could export a PS3 game to the system. Capcom showed Lost Planet 2, Sega had Yakuza 4, and Hideo Kojima demoed Metal Gear Solid 4. None of these were real game announcements, they were just demonstrations to show how you can perfectly export a PS3 game to the system and have it run the same.
Capcom also showed a downloadable version of Monster Hunter Portable 3 running on the system, and that one revelation is enough to secure handheld victory for the NGP in Japan. The 3DS has no chance of competing against that franchise on the NGP, just as how almost nothing on the DS was able to compare to Monster Hunter sales on the PSP. As for games popular in the US, Activision announced that Call of Duty will be on the system but nothing was shown aside from a logo.
One big change with the system is that there is no UMD drive on it, which means it will not play the disc-based PSP games. The games come on Nintendo DS-style proprietary SD cards. The ability to play downloadable PSP games from the PSN Store remains a possibility, but it wasn’t confirmed.
What wasn’t announced was a price or release date aside from later this year. Following the main presentation, it came out that one official was heard saying that they will “make a loss” on the system in regards to price; so don’t expect it to cost more than $300 when it releases in the US this Christmas. And for the power you’re getting with this thing, that’s really not too bad. Expect a lot more about the system from GDC and E3.