It finally happened. Sony unveiled the PSP2 yesterday and, like polite birthday boys and girls who found out about a surprise party months (and months) in advance, we all gasped and stood with looks of faux-surprise on our faces.
While the announcement of the PSP sequel - codenamed Next Generation Portable (NGP) - might not have been anything close to unexpected, many gamers will have been pleasantly surprised by what Sony has managed to produce.
The NGP is looking like a bit of a powerhouse as far as portable gaming is concerned, and we can't wait to see what its true capabilities really are.
But as with any announcement, there was a LOT to take in. Here are some key facts you might have missed that illustrate what the Sony NGP is all about:
- British company ARM, which has built NGP's CPU, usually gears its creations towards good battery life, according to TechRadar. Sony's pitching battery life between 4-6 hours.
- NGP contains an ARM Cortex-A9 core (4 core) CPU. This is well ahead of other recent mobile devices, whose manufactures have only recently begun installing Dual Core in the latest handsets. The iPad also uses ARM Cortex designs in its system on a chip (SOC).
- Sony has dubbed the curvaceous chassis of NGP 'Super Oval Design'. The platform holder claims it has been specially created to ensure more comfort in longer play sessions than PSP1.
- Sony claims that the combination of two touchpads and thumbsticks allows for "touch, grab, trace, push and pull" moves of the fingers.
- NGP's GPU - SGX543MP4+ quad-core - is built by Imagination Technologies, another British company based in Hertfordshire.
- NGP's quad-core GPU setup is four times as powerful as top-of-the-range current mobile platforms, according to Epic.
- Every game for NGP will be provided with Sony's LiveArea, where users can share info and communicate other players. Additionally, NGP users will be able to view an Activity log, constantly updated with accomplishments from those playing the same game.
- NGP has a five inch, 960 x 544, 16:9 OLED screen. In terms of resolution, that's almost the same as the native rendering resolution of both Alan Wake on Xbox 360 and Call of Duty: Black Ops on PS3. The original PSP sported a 480 x 272 display, for those of you who love to compare.
- The NGP resolution is in the same ballpark as the iPhone 4's Retina Display, which is 960x640. The Apple phone has a much higher pixel density though, since its screen is only 3.5 inches.
- NGP operates with more than 2.5 times as many pixels as the Nintendo 3DS. That's even when you consider the 800x240 stereoscopic resolution of the Ninty handheld.
- The console packs a Six-Axis motion sensing system behind its screen. That includes a three-axis gyroscope and a three-axis accelerometer - that's one motion sensor more than the iPad (which is missing a gyroscope) and one less than the PlayStation Move, which also houses a Terrestrial Magnetic Field sensor.
- Sony has dropped the UMD format in favour of Flash cards, which can store the full software titles plus add-on game content or the game save data directly.
- Flash cards with more capacity will be made available in the future to allow for bigger games, according to Sony.