PSP2: The 10 most important things you need to know

Sony has announced its 'Next Generation Portable' - the NGP. Yes, this is it, PSP2 has finally been officially announced. Turns out it looks nothing like any of the mock-up pictures that everyone claimed were leaks. It looks like a bigger PSP. But there's so much more to it than that. Here are the ten most important features of this gorgeous new device and what they'll mean for you.

Above: There it is - PSP2, now known as Sony Next Generation Portable. That codename will change


Twin sticks are in

We knew this was coming - it was the biggest criticism of PSP. Why is a second stick so important? It allows you to move your character with one stick while looking with the other. But that's not going to be the only new method of control...


It's got touch control on the front AND back

The screen will be touch sensitive, to allow iPhone-style gameplay and menu browsing. But the unit also features a touch panel on its rear, which is exactly the same size as the main screen, which will reportedly allow for incredibly intuitive use. It will be very interesting to see how developers utilise this new feature.

Above: That rather artistic panel of PlayStation symbols is a touch panel. Touch front and back? Nice


It has an OLED screen

The inclusion of an Organic Light Emitting Display basically means it's going to look fantastic. The 5-in, multitouch screen will have a resolution of 960x544 - superior to the existing PSP by almost four pixels to one. While it isn't quite the HD screen we were expecting, it's better than standard def, so at its diminutive 5-inch screen should look superb. And the extra breathing room from not having to render true HD should help the battery life too.


Trophies are confirmed

Sony's Achievements-aping Trophies system will be implemented across NGP games. This is undoubtedly a selling point for a lot of people. But interestingly, with the existing PSP already connecting to the same PSN account as your PS3, this could lend weight to the suggestions that some games could become cross-platform, allowing you to play your PS3 at home, then switch off and continue the same game on NGP. OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast already does this on PS2/PSP so it's not out of the question.


It plays PS3 quality games

This is the most amazing feature. The mere suggestion that a handheld console could run games that are as good as the current generation of home consoles' finest is out of this world. It's never happened before, but the future is happening now. Or, to be more precise, this Christmas. Woot! If you want to get really technical and care that it has four cores in its CPU, you can read the full spec sheet on Sony's official site.

Above: Uncharted Portable? Uncharted Portable! UNCHARTED PORTABLE!!!

As if to hammer home the point that NGP has PS3-matching innards, several big-name franchises have already been confirmed for the machine, including Uncharted, Call of Duty, Killzone, LittleBigPlanet, WipEout and Resistance. There are also tech demos running Lost Planet and Metal Gear Solid 4. It's like Sony's saying "3DS can do Metal Gear 3? Very nice, but look at this!" 


There are cameras for the front and back

Kojima has suggested that Metal Gear Solid 4 will use the cameras in some way (oh, and the fact that Metal Gear Solid 4 will run on the device 100% confirms its power) and the home screen features a photo option. There's a microphone too, which means pretty much anything the competition has benefited from in recent years is present in NGP.


It's got 3G connectivity

On top of the usual Wi-Fi connection, NGP will feature 3G connectivity. It's unclear at present whether you'll have to fork out extra for data plans, but it's likely some sort of Xbox Live-style subscription will allow you to connect to mobile phone networks to download data and possibly even play online. The device will also support Bluetooth, as well as a 3DS-style local connectivity service called 'Near'. There will also be a feature called 'LiveArea' in every NGP game, which will allow connectivity with other players' achievements as well as download new content from developers on the fly. There will also be an online store service called 'PS Suite', which will contain Android software for more casual, phone-style games.


It'll be the largest handheld on the market

The new machine is 182mm long, which is 13mm longer than the PSP-3000. It's not quite in the same league as the Atari Lynx, but it does make the iPhone look positively tiny. At least it doesn't look too fat – it's just that that screen is gorgeous and shown off at an appropriate size for its resolution. Full specs, excluding projections like the twin sticks, are approx. 182.0 x 18.6 x 83.5mm (width x height x depth).

Above: But at least it doesn't look like it's going to be really fat in your hands. Not sure what the blur's about...


It will use flash memory media

UMDs are out, but we are promised another generation of physical media – most likely due to the download-only PSP Go's epic failure. Games will come on flash memory sticks, which Sony promises will evolve with technology, allowing developers to create larger games as storage technology increases. There's no technical reason that massive, data-heavy PS3 titles like Uncharted 2 couldn't be playable on the device. 


Sixaxis returns!

Yes, I know what you're thinking. But it's actually just part of an impressive motion-control feature set which includes an electronic compass and gyroscope. Basically, anything iPhone 4 can do can be done on NGP, with better graphics and better controls. Forget the Sixaxis white elephant. This is a machine that can handle anything you want to throw at it… except 3D, of course.

Expect lots more on Sony's NGP over the rest of the day. And, potentially, the next 10 years.

27 Jan, 2011




  • amog12 - July 12, 2011 3:17 p.m.

    I want this so bad, but i'll probably get a PS3 first
  • enriquegonzalez - March 21, 2011 6:23 p.m.

  • Y2Ken - January 31, 2011 9:10 a.m.

    I'm certainly interested. But we'll have to wait and see.
  • jondaven - January 31, 2011 5:58 a.m.

    OH MY FREAKING GOSH! I NEED THIS! I just sold my original PSP and my eight games just to get this. I was waiting for Sony to announce this before I decided to get a 3DS and I think I'll get this. It looks better than the 3DS in every way. I just hope they keep the price below $300. Christmas needs to come sooner!
  • grayguwapo - January 31, 2011 4 a.m.

    OH WOW! This baby's gonna beat the hell out of any existing handheld as long as it delivers on the new additions... and boy those new add-ons are really something... 3D? Don't care if it doesn't have it as long as the graphic output will be stunning... The hardware boasts more bang for the buck on useable features for games than putting in 3D so I think this is a good move that Sony did... can't wait to hear more about this new toy! And how much it will cost... yikes!
  • Cheech360 - January 30, 2011 3:42 a.m.

    This looks super expensive so therefore I wont be getting it.
  • twinkletitsMcGee - January 30, 2011 2:52 a.m.

    i could see Justin's boner coming out of his pants as i read this
  • BudaBaker - January 29, 2011 4:47 a.m.

    I thought the ps3 had a 7 core processor so if this has a 4 core how will it run the same games?
  • waffman11 - January 29, 2011 3:45 a.m.

    As with any other piece of impressive technology recently announced *ahem* NERDGASM. This looks impressive as all hell and has me extremely excited for this year. I'm not sure about the backside touchscreen, it seems like a gimmick to me right now, although a good developer could prove me wrong. The price loks like it's going to be high, though, considering the multiple cameras and the two touch screens.
  • DeadlyViper95 - January 29, 2011 2:33 a.m.

  • BlindMarksman - January 28, 2011 10:32 p.m.

    I must say i´m as eager to try this as i was to try to 3ds! Now i am looking forward to this!
  • ViolentLee - January 28, 2011 9:22 p.m.

    Along with Outrun 2006, both WWE Smackdown Vs. Raw 2006 and one of Sony's MLB games (06?) also allowed you to port saves over from PS2 to PSP versions and vice versa. It was a very neat feature that sadly got forgotten.
  • Turboash - January 28, 2011 7:59 p.m.

    Ahh, the handheld for grownups returns with a vengeance!
  • Luffys97 - January 28, 2011 3:37 p.m.

    Is there going to be some kind of application that enables you to copy the files of your UMDs into PSP2 memory because I have too many and I will not be able to use them with the PSP2!
  • SilentNinja - January 28, 2011 10:41 a.m.

    The blur in the picture looks like its someone playing a game and tapping the touchscreen on the back, sounds like its going to be very versatile for playing controls. Wonder how much it will cost though...
  • super0sonic - January 28, 2011 9:28 a.m.

    Le-sigh I knew it would not have a UMD and i kinda wanted it to not have a UMD. But know i know there is no UMD i am kinda bummed that all my PSP games are only good on the PSP
  • jmcgrotty - January 28, 2011 7:41 a.m.

    The dual touch-screens for me are a literal deal breaker. No interest in this worthless "feature". Touch-screen gaming should have died years ago. It just doesn't work.
  • mattdark - January 28, 2011 7:30 a.m.

    Aside from worrying about price and such, the only thing that bothers me it the lack of bacwards compatability, guess I'll be holding onto my PSP for some time then... Then again, it looks like the 3DS may not be backwards compatable, seeing as its using a new game card too...
  • thedonut - January 28, 2011 5:39 a.m.

    They should've made the analogs concave. Furthermore, between this and the 3DS, this is going to end up being a really hard decision on what to get first for me.
  • TheTygerfire - January 28, 2011 5:34 a.m.

    Anyone notice that the name shown the most on the Friends list is "Marcus"? XD

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