Sony has released new information regarding it's next generation portable console, currently codenamed, surprisingly, "Next Generation Portable".
NGP will take portable gaming to the next level, according to Sony, but instead of featuring 3D like the rival Nintendo 3DS, Sony will focus on some other innovations.
Sony has promised the NGP will feature a "revolutionary" user interface, combined with social tools, augmented reality and location-awareness.
But the draw card may in fact be PlayStation compatibility, including PS3 games. While the NGP won't accept PS3 Blu-ray discs, or PS3 downloadable games, Sony is promising developers a simple process to port existing PS3 games to the NGP. And the included hardware, an ARM Cortex-A9 quad core CPU and an SGX543 quad core GPU, will be able to handle PS3 games without too much of a hassle on the 5" 960x544 OLED screen. People might be shocked that such a small package may hold the same power as a chunky PS3, but the truth is that the PS3 is already years old, using (by PC technology standards) a very outdated GPU (it's the same with the Xbox 360). And due to the lower (sub 720p) resolution and screen size of the NGP, some shortcuts can be taken to reduce load without seriously affecting the output graphics.
There is also compatibility between Sony (Ericsson's) Android devices and the NGP, if developers choose to use Sony's new cross-platform developer tool.
Amongst other notable features is multi-touch surface *behind* the screen (the screen itself is also multi-touch), allowing for games that you can control from "behind" the screen.
There's also two cameras included, one in the front and one in the rear, allowing for some creative augmented reality games.
Connectivity features include Wi-Fi, 3G and GPS, the latter allowing for location aware apps.
Other changes from the PSP include two thumb-stick controllers, and just like the PSP Go, no UMD drive, so it means downloadable games only.
No word on pricing, but with so many features included, it probably won't be lower than that of the Nintendo 3DS ($250), and could go much higher actually considering what a phone with all these features would normally cost (unless Sony decides to eat some of the cost à la the PS3 at launch).
Is the NGP something you would want to buy? Post your answer in our comments section below, or go to this forum thread and see some more pics of the NGP in action: