On January 27, 2011, Sony Playstation division finally reveal the Next Generation Portable as the successor to the Playstation Portable. After many months of leaks the Next Generation Portable(NGP) has been announced to the public. As many as the rumors suggested, it is close in power to the PS3. Just as Sony has designed the First Playstation Portable, the NGP seems to be following the philosophy of bringing the console experience in the palm of your hands. However there are a few notable additions to this portable that may set it apart. It includes the standard fair of a touch screen, gyroscope, accelerometer and 2 cameras (1 in the front and 1 in the back). The Rear touch panel and compass can lead to some interesting game mechanics.
“Little Deviants” was the sample game on display to show off some possible game mechanics that can be implemented with the rear touch panel. Having the user to manipulate the environment is interesting however this is one downside to this touch panel. According to the specs it seems like it is just a touch panel and nothing else. I hope then added a pressure plate or some equivalent because this allows the user to have some degree of freedom of how much pressure can be applied on the panel. Pressure can be used to measure how high the terrain can go or apply small amounts of pressure to creates small bumps. Having this sort of variance can create some dynamic gameplay.
Besides these enhancements, there are the standard fare of upgrades that you would expect in the Next Generation Playstation Portable. A larger higher resolution screen (an OLED at that), quad-core processor, dual joysticks and standard controls. This leads to some of my concerns for the system. The PSP did really well as a new handle competing with the Nintendo king however it still did not sell well compare to the Nintendo DS. One reason was that the DS presented a different way to play games compare to their console counterparts. The NGP may fall into the same trap where it offers nothing new compare to console. The touch screen/panel plus the addition of gyroscope.accelerometer will help keep the portable experience.
Now with all this power must come at a price. Looking straight at the specification sheet, it is leaps and bounds more powerful than the Nintendo 3DS. With the N3DS at $250, the NGP will be priced above that. In addition to be able to produce PS3-like graphics, this will increase development cost. Games may cost $60 just for a portable. It seems like that “Gaming” is becoming a more expensive hobby with each iteration of new systems. This could be a faulting point for the NGP and game companies will have to debate if they need to use the fund to create a NGP original or just a port from the console version. That was one failing point of the PSP was that it just had ports of games from the consoles and many gamers want original games made specifically for the system (like Monster Hunter). Sony still has till the end of 2011 to figure this all out as competition for Nintendo is a good thing and will continue to help gamers everywhere to find new experiences that has never been done before.