Sony has just unveiled what certainly looks like the next-gen PSP, but called it the NGP (or Next Generation Portable). Whether the name sticks or not doesn’t matter (they could call it the Magical Hand Banana and we wouldn’t care), because at least we know what to expect now. According to the presentation, Sony’s new portable console will focus on five concepts: Revolutionary User Interface, Social Connectivity, Location-based Entertainment, Converging Real and Virtual Reality. Another key feature for loyal PSP gamers: this thing’s going to be backwards-compatible with downloadable PSP games, as well as PS1 games from the PlayStation Suite.
Getting down to the device itself, here’s what it’s going to come with: the controls are still going to be familiar, with a four-way pad on the left and four buttons to the right, but they added dual analog sticks on this device for a closer PlayStation-like experience. It’s also going to be powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor (which is apparently good enough for rendering PS3 content smoothly), and will feature a spacious 5-inch touchscreen OLED display (960×544 resolution), another touch surface at the back, as well as an accelerometer and gyroscope that adds a new dimension to PSP gaming. Connectivity options include 3D, Wi-fi, and GPS.
The games and format weren’t revealed yet, but Sony mentioned that it’s going to come in a new media format, so your old PSP UMDs probably won’t load onto this device anymore.
Excited? Sure you are. Unfortunately, it’s going to take some time before it actually ships. It’s set to ship in Japan (at least) “in time for the holidays.”