Burning Attack: NGP

The PSP2 has been codenamed the NGP. It is an immensely powerful portable that can do a great many things, but probably not worry Nintendo.

By James Stank. Posted 01/27/2011 15:00 20 Comments     ShareThis


Sony has finally lifted the curtain on the sequel to PSP, codenamed NGP for “Next Generation Portable.” Let me begin by saying that I own a DS and PSP, and that just because this is a Nintendo fansite doesn’t mean I will mindlessly hate on a competitor’s systems, like many other people out there. That’s not what I’m about, and that’s not what Nintendojo is about. That being said, it is my opinion that the DS is a superior handheld to the PSP, from a software standpoint. I have about 30 games for my DS, and there are still more that I want, while I only have a handful for my PSP.

Again, I don’t hate my PSP. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to play Valkyria Chronicles 2 or Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep. Back before the PSP launched, everyone believed that it would be Nintendo’s undoing. They believed that PSP would crush DS, and beat Nintendo at its own game. Maybe it would have, but Sony made some mistakes with the PSP launch and design. With the NGP, it looks as though Sony will be helping Nintendo out once again, making a whole bunch of mistakes once more.

Nintendo is a smart, practical company. Sony is an overconfident, egotistical one. When Sony launched the PS3, it thought everyone would buy the machine regardless of price, which was wrong, just like Sony was wrong with PSP. Both systems had large price tags and few games, and Sony has felt the pain since. While the PSP isn’t really a failure, it consistently gets outsold by DS in every region except Japan by a wide margin. All the while, PS3 slowly chugs behind Xbox 360 for third place on the home console front, despite having some amazing exclusives. After these mishaps, you think Sony would have learned, but it looks as though it hasn’t, and that’s good news for Nintendo.

Sony is probably the only company that has the ego to codename a portable “NGP”. With PSP, it tried to put Nintendo down, saying that it would “pull portable gaming out of the gutter,” and with NGP, it’s as if the company is saying that NGP is the only “true” next generation handheld in development. Once again, overconfidence is Sony’s weakness, just as it was the Emperor’s. From a technological standpoint, the NGP is absolutely mind-blowing. It has a quad core processor, two cameras, two analog sticks, 3G, a touch screen, sixaxis, a touch pad, four times the resolution of the PSP, and more. Sony is describing the graphical abilities of its new portable as close to, but not at, PS3-level. No price has been announced, but you can expect this machine to easily cost more than a 3DS. Sony has once again made a machine that is a technological powerhouse, and again, some think Nintendo is in trouble. It is a complete repeat of 2004 when the DS launched. But if I’m Nintendo right now, I’ve got to be happy.

The only way that the NGP could pose a serious threat to 3DS was if it were cheaper. However, with all of the features revealed, we know that this most certainly won’t be the case, and if this current portable gen is any indication, the NGP will go the way of PSP.

I’m not going to pretend that I like Sony as much as I like Nintendo. That would be a lie. As soon as the $249 price tag was revealed for 3DS, I was online preordering mine. I also was camped out in front of my local Best Buy when Wii came out, to make sure I’d have one on launch day. However, I didn’t get my PS3 until 2009 when the slim launched, and the price finally lowered to $299. I didn’t get a PSP until a few months ago, when I got the PSP holiday bundle for $129. Both of those tags, along with those of the Wii and 3DS, are reasonable to me. However, the NGP seems as though it could easily launch for upwards of $349, which would make me lose all interest in it. Not only that, but the lack of a UMD drive doesn’t make me too happy either. I know I’m not alone in this line of thought.

Sony seems to think that it is invincible, and that nothing can possibly go wrong, and in all actuality, it nearly is. As opposed to Nintendo, which only makes games, Sony can survive consoles that don’t live up to expectations, because it does more than make games. Nintendo, on the other hand, would be crippled if a console didn’t sell as much as it would have liked, and it nearly was. I think that Sony should have created a cheaper, more affordable portable, which would have made people think twice about buying a 3DS. It would have been the best situation for gamers, as we would have been able to get the best of both worlds. But as it stands right now, Sony once again won’t mind putting a huge price tag on NGP.

I could be wrong, like all those analysts were about the PSP, but after seeing what NGP has to offer, I am convinced that it doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance in the handheld market, precisely because of what it is. The NGP just seems like an advanced PSP. It doesn’t seem like it is really bringing anything new to the table besides great graphics, which are nothing game-changing. Sony has however, made the right decision to move to a flash-memory based cartridge system like Nintendo though, so that should help battery life a little. But with everything else going on with NGP, battery life is probably going to be a little shorthanded.

To close, I believe that this war has already been won by 3DS, even before either system is released. Had Sony created an affordable alternative to the 3DS, things really would have been interesting, but as of now it seems like Sony just gift wrapped the console battle to Nintendo. Will I be getting a NGP? You bet I will. How soon will that be? Ask me when the price is under $300. In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy my DS and PSP, and soon 3DS.

20 Responses to “Burning Attack: NGP”

  • 315 points
    Greg Wampler says...

    The sixaxis is only part of it. There is an accelerometer, gyroscope AND an electronic compass. This gives it three more axis to work off of. It has more motion control devices than the Wii and even Sony’s own Move.
    The graphics processor is also a four-core beast. Gamestop has this thing on preorder for $1,000 beans lol

    Oh by the way, NICE TO MEET YOU GUYS AGAIN! Hope Noah’s not too mad. Military calls.

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  • 393 points
    James Stank says...

    Hey Greg, been a while. But I did say “and more.” But ultimately it comes down to the games, and as of right now, 3DS has NGP beat.

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  • 315 points
    Greg Wampler says...

    Definitely. It’s looking like a rerun of the DS and PSP all over again. And you cannot tell me that the “NGP” isn’t going to end up being called a PSP2 or PS-something. That brand name is just too well-known. Sony needs to get over themselves.

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    • 393 points
      James Stank says...

      Oh I’m with you all the way. Sony won’t let go of the PS name. So what do you think the price will be? At the lowest, I’m thinking $349. I’ve heard some people say $299 but there is no way the price will be that low.

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  • 45 points
    poptart says...

    NGP will be a huge success and I will support it to the fullest! Welcome back Mr. Wampler

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  • 315 points
    Greg Wampler says...

    I think it will cost near 400 beans for sure. Maybe more depending on how they price the 3G model. Don’t know if they are doing a subscription-based model, or making it cost a good bit more on the actual price tag with a small subscription. We’ll have to see on that. Gamestop has it at $999 lol. That goes to show that they really have no idea, but it should cost a lot. The highest I saw the 3DS priced at before the word was let out was $399.

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  • 315 points
    Greg Wampler says...

    Oh yeah, and why no complaints about the probably short battery life and the fact that 3G isn’t really fast enough in most cases to play online? When the 3DS was announced, it was being smacked all over the web.

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  • 57 points
    Andy Hoover says...

    Great to see you back Greg!

    And, as per usual, I generally agree. Battery life and price are MAJOR issues. Other than that, I think it looks fairly good, especially with the dual analog sticks, something I wish Nintendo had included on 3DS.

    In the worst case scenario, Sony will price itself into oblivion, but I figure the most likely outcome will be a repeat of current circumstances. 3DS will have the mass market appeal thanks to its lower price wide selection of titles while PSP2 will lag far behind but have a strong enough fanbase of core gamers to maintain relevance.

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  • 315 points
    Greg Wampler says...

    Yeah, but those analog sticks really are “sticks”, aren’t they? Could suck for pockets…

    Also, the OLED screen may help battery life a bit, but it sure as heck will add to the price.

    Again, I look at the NGP as a handheld trying to be a home console on the go. I really don’t want that. Sony has very few games that work well or can be changed for portables in mind. Nintendo, on the other hand, can easily change games like Zelda into portable-accepting games. They know how to make me WANT their games on handhelds. 3DS does it again with 3D without glasses as well as changes to games and even new games built specifically for it. PSP has God of War, but do you want to play a top-down view and touch to move/fight GoW? I don’t.

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  • 441 points
    Terr says...

    Can’t wait for the new psp! I will be preordering it regardless of the cost same as the 3ds. PSP is my favourite gaming system so I am well psyched to get this new news about their latest handheld.

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  • 690 points
    KisakiProject says...

    I think NGP looks awesome. I want a white one day one. personally I think they will sell the 3Gless model for cheaper than the 3G one. I think the one without 3G will be comparable to 3Ds prices. In terms of these devices its going to be an interesting race. NGP has a rear touch pad and insanely good graphics. 3DS has 3D and two screens. Otherwise their features are identical. So the devices are going to be in fierce competition. This is of course the best for gamers because it means they will do anything for us to buy their stuff. Thus we all win.

    Also I love all the Ar stuff on this. Also 3DS has tons of AR. I think AR is gonna be a big part of next gen portables. Can you imagine Pokemon with Ar interaction?

    Anyways I’m getting a 3DS day one and I’ll get NGP day one. I’ll be enjoying both instead of betting on one horse in the race.

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    • 393 points
      James Stank says...

      You think a NGP without 3G will be around the 3DS price? I don’t, but if it was, it would go a long way towards getting me to buy it. Would you still want the NGP even if it ended up costing $400 at launch, (and it very well might).

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      • 432 points
        dmgice says...

        Only Sony of Europe has said they will have a 3G-less NGP. But Europe LIES ALL THE TIME. (3DS eShop LIE from Europe….)

        Anyhow, I guess the unit will be about $399.99 at launch and I’ll still get one in the US, when it launches, in 2012.

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      • 441 points
        Terr says...

        The 3ds is almost $400 here in the UK (£229) so I would pay that for the NGP.

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  • 45 points
    poptart says...

    I suppose it is correct to say that Sony did not learn from their mistakes by positioning the NGP into an extension of a console in your hands. The PSP was successful enough to warrant this type of thinking but who can blame them. They can’t make a handheld to play mini games like an iphone because that space has been taken. And they cant compete with Nintendo’s handheld experience and development teams so why not offer something that is an extension of what they do best. High end technology and hardcore console type gaming is what they are good at. Yes?

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    • 315 points
      Greg Wampler says...

      I guess, but if they keep increasing their tech at this rate, they’ll be losing money on both consoles AND handhelds. I mean, they just finally broke even and into the green with the PS3, but this handheld may very well end up costing them money to sell with no return. I mean, yes it worked with the PS3 (at least in terms of not failing), but I don’t see how this can continue to become a good business model in both markets.

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  • 315 points
    Greg Wampler says...

    By the way, everyone should start calling the NGP the Neo Geo Pocket lol

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  • 432 points
    dmgice says...

    As more information comes out on it, the NGP looks kinda….

    Well, here are the negatives.

    1. Region Locking.

    2. 3G Contracts.

    3. Non User changeable battery.

    4. Questionable BC emulation.

    5. The design for the sticks means they will stick out and catch in your pockets.

    6. The size of the unit coupled with the thinness.

    7. 4 hour battery life apparently.

    8. No Video Out like on the PSP 2000,3000, and GO. units.

    9. No included charging dock. hehe

    10. There’s a huge laundry list of really GOOD titles that are missing from the PSN, so they will never be available on NGP. Titles like FF7: Crisis Core, or Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep. That’s not a problem with the Nintendo DS titles. Although a few titles that used external attachments -like Guitar Hero- won’t be compatible with the 3DS. But the amount of titles that are not compatible with the NGP from the PSP generation eclipses the amount of DS titles (About 4) that won’t play on the Nintendo 3DS.

    11. OLED in the sunlight? Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.. no really.. OLED screens have problems with external light or daylight. They look gorgeous in the dark.. but in natural daylight… it’s like trying to view a Game Gear.

    So, that’s it.

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    • 315 points
      Greg Wampler says...

      I’ll reply to your numbered list:

      2. This is a big one. The 3G contracts in the U.S. are more than in Japan. Also, I don’t know what kind of games will be good on it. Casual type games may work okay, but big games like CoD and Uncharted online… well, all I have to say is, you’ll basically only want to play somewhere that you get the best signal, and you won’t want to move anyway…. kinda sounds like HOME where you’ll have Wi-Fi anyway. Even then, you won’t get the speeds necessary to play lag-free. 3G (and even 4G), is not made for playing these console-like games.

      3. They SAY non-user changeable battery, but if you are willing to kick the warranty out of the door, then so what? Oh, that’s right. I guess if you spend 5oo beans on a handheld, you ain’t gunna wanna do that, I guess. :)

      7. I keep hearing 3 to 5 under good conditions. (why is nobody complaining, like they do about the 3DS?)

      10. Excellent point.

      11. Sony is the head company behind the design of the OLED technology. They may have found a way to help a bit. However, I never heard of them fixing the blue LED problems that were haunting the original OLED screens. The blue LED is said to last about a quarter of the time of the green and red LEDs. Which means, your screen will start getting discolored in about 2 to 3 years of regular use. Another thing that MAY have been fixed though.

      By the way, I understand how OLED works and realize that there aren’t really “LEDs” that light up. There are organic, carbon-based compounds that give off blue, red and green light by themselves when an electric current is passed through.

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