If you’re smarter than me and decided not to stay up late for Sony’s press conference in Japan last night, you may have noticed that the internet is flooded with news this morning. During the conference, Sony announced the NGP (“next generation portable,” not the final name for the device).
I’m not going to list everything the device features (IGN has a decent summary of it here), but I will share some thoughts and concerns about it, though. Here we go:
1. The Graphics
One of the big points of the show is just how good games running on the NGP look. Games like Uncharted and Metal Gear Solid 4 appear very, very close to their PS3 counterparts. Several of the third-party developers who talked at the event noted just how easy it is to port games from the PS3 to the NGP. I just hope this doesn’t mean that the NGP is going to end up as a device filled with ports of PS3 games. It seems like this might cause the two Sony platforms to compete with each other, and obviously the PS3 would win.
2. The Games
The games are going to need to be standalone spin-offs, rather than ports. Sony announced last night that the device will be supported by several big franchises, including Uncharted, Killzone, Resistance, LittleBigPlanet, Wipeout and more. These are going to have to be their own games because, like I said earlier, you don’t want the NGP and PS3 versions of Uncharted competing with each other. I’m curious how many of those franchises will be launch titles. Since Uncharted was playable at the event, I’m guessing it’s far enough along that it will be one of them.
3. The Price
There’s been no word yet on the price of the NGP. I’m thinking it will happen at E3, but that’s just a guess. Price is really going to make or break this thing. I’m sure Sony wants to put up a good competition with the 3DS, but the tech inside this device seems like it may drive the price up. To me, $300 seems reasonable. That’s $50 more than the 3DS and is justifiable considering how much more powerful it is. I think Sony would have a difficult time getting people to pay more than $300 for a handheld, too.
The problem is that for $300, you could buy a PS3 Slim, so we have that problem of two Sony platforms competing with each other again. Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out.