Game Changer? Sony Uncrates Next Generation Portable
Sony stepped up its game in the mobile gaming market this morning by uncrating the Next Generation Portable, the successor to the dusty PSP. With a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor and a multi-core PowerVR SGX543MP4 graphics chip, the device promises a PlayStation 3-level gaming experience further enhanced with front- and rear-facing cameras, a gyroscope, accelerometer, Wi-Fi and 3G support, and built-in GPS. It also boasts a five-inch, 960×544 OLED touchscreen and a corresponding touch panel on the rear of the unit.
It’s a radical redesign of the PlayStation Portable and an important one, as it must compete for gamers’ attention not just with Nintendo’s forthcoming 3DS but with gaming-capable smartphones like the iPhone.
“Times have changed, from an era where you had to carry around a dedicated gaming device like the PlayStation Portable to play games on-the-go,” Kaz Hirai, head of Sony’s gaming division said at a launch event today. “Now you can enjoy casual games on cellphones, smartphones, tablet PCs and many other multifunctional portable devices, and these casual gamers are growing rapidly in number….We can’t ignore this market.”
With that in mind, Sony is for the first time ever making PlayStation software titles playable on non-Sony devices. The first step toward that goal is PlayStation Suite, a new cross-platform software framework that will bring Sony titles to Android tablets and smartphones. “Easy-to-play games are becoming big business and this is recognition of that change in the market,” Hirai said. “Our mission is to make PlayStation quality games available on non-PSP devices.”