Source: http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/english...02/189276/?P=1Feb 2, 2011 15:06
Tadashi Nezu, Nikkei Electronics
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc (SCE) announced the "Next Generation Portable (NGP)," a successor to the PlayStation Portable (PSP) portable game console, and the "PlayStation Suite (PS Suite)," a service for providing games to Android-based devices, Jan 27, 2011 (See related article).
On the day after this announcement, there was a roundtable Q&A session with SCE President and Group CEO Kazuo Hirai. And this article is focused on the topics related to the hardware of the NGP.
Q: Why didn't you make the NPG 3D-compatible like the Nintendo 3DS? (See related article 2)
Hirai: The entire Sony Group lays weight on 3D. SCE made the PS3 support 3D games. And 3D-compatible games are being released one after the other.
However, as for the NGP, we decided not to make it 3D-compatible in consideration of the necessity of 3D capability for portable game consoles, the worldviews of the games we want to create, costs and so forth. Some might say that 3D capability will enhance immersiveness in a game. But, this time, we decided to improve it by using a different method.
On the other hand, in the case of stationary game consoles such as the PS3, it is possible to achieve a high immersiveness because users sit in front of a stationary TV and enjoy a 3D world.
Q: Please explain about the procurement of its components such as the OLED panel.
Hirai: We are not determined to procure the components within our group. We will choose suppliers from inside and outside our company, considering costs, performance and supply capacity. Our first priority is to offer a good product to users.
As for the OLED display, we have not yet chosen suppliers or decided the number of suppliers. We have not disclosed such things because we honestly have not made a decision yet.
Q: Why doesn't the NGP work as a mobile phone despite the fact that it has 3G communication capability?
Hirai: We discussed this a lot and reached a conclusion that we do not have to add a phone function when we put weight on "entertainment." Considering the shape of the new console, it is difficult to make a phone call. But we did not want to change its design or add an accessory for a phone function. That's why we decided not to include a phone function.
Q: The NGP is equipped with many input devices including three kinds of motion sensors, which are a three-axis acceleration sensor, gyro sensor and geomagnetic sensor, in addition to a touch panel on the front side and a touch pad on the back. Don't they make operation complicated?
Hirai: I don't think they will make operation complicated because it is not our suggestion that all the sensors should be used.
We increased the number of sensors so that game creators can accurately portray the worlds they want to create and the users can feel them. If the NGP had only buttons, creators might say, "We could do more if it had a touch panel." We wanted to avoid such a situation.
Q: How did you decide the shape of the NGP?
Hirai: We tried many shapes by making mock-ups including a slide type like the PSP go. And we examined them from various viewpoints such as portability, operability, if the user can play a game for long hours, center of gravity and so forth.
As a result, we concluded that the "super oval design," which was employed for the NGP this time, is well-balanced and suited for game playing.
Also, one of the appeals of the existing PSP is its large screen. So, we began to consider if we could make the screen more vivid and a little larger. This, too, is one of the reasons why we chose the new design for the NGP.
Q: Can you tell us how long the NGP can be continuously used by using the embedded rechargeable battery and the price of the console?
Hirai: I'm afraid all I can say now is that we will make efforts to make them satisfactory to users.
Q: What will happen to the UMD, a game cartridge for the existing PSP, after the debut of the NGP?
Hirai: Even after the release of the NGP, we will continue to sell the current PSP (for a while). So, the UMD will not just suddenly disappear.
To play existing PSP games on the NGP, it is necessary to download game software from the Internet. Though some games cannot be available for download due to some copyright issues, we want to offer as many games as possible for download through the PlayStation Network. On this issue, we will discuss with publishers (companies that supply game software).
Q: Can you tell us about your contract for 3G network and communication charge?
Hirai: Please let me explain this first. We might change the configuration of the NGP depending on region. For example, we might sell a model that has only wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) capability and does not have 3G communication capability for some regions.
Some users might be satisfied just by using the Wi-Fi function. For such users, the Wi-Fi model is suited. On the other hand, for those who want to quickly start real-time communication, the 3G model is suitable.
Also, we will decide the ratio of the Wi-Fi model and the 3G model in consideration of the game contents that creators want to provide.
With those things in mind, we are now discussing with local carriers about price plans and so forth. I will explain more details in due time.
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Great info. Really excited to get this thing and unleash it's power.
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One thing you'll never hear devs cry is "We could do more if it was 3D." Which is why i'm glad they didn't add it. It really is not needed in a handheld.
I'd rather have all the bells and whistles of the NGP instead to create a more enjoyable control experience.
Last edited by mickice; 02-13-2011 at 02:22.
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