Beta 2.0

Monday, February 7, 2011

NGP is a Developer's Wet Dream

Sony's next PSP2 codename "NGP" is sure getting developer's excited about the prospects of making games for Sony's new handheld super computer. Eurogamer’s managed to unearth the details from a top-secret SCEE presentation that took place in London on February 3rd 2011.

The top-secret snitch, described the device “as a developer’s dream,” adding that “Sony is finally doing the things developers have been crying out for for years.” “Any shaders for PS3 stuff will just work,” said the source. “We won’t have to rewrite. What would have taken two-to-three months before looks like it could take just one-to-two weeks now. The architecture is obviously different, but it’s the same development environment.

“Sony has made it completely developer-centric this time,” the source added. “[The development kit] is really simple to plug in and use. It opens direct in Windows Explorer and you can see all systems on a network – so you could, for example, update the firmware of multiple NGPs at once.

“A PS3 dev station can take three hours to set-up. This looks like it will take under 20 mins. It just makes everything easier – they’ve really thought about it this time.”

According to Eurogamer’s source, developers creating titles for the NGP and PlayStation 3 would only require one submission process. However, Sony insisted that they “do not want exactly the same game” on NGP and PS3 — stating “there has to be a reason for the title”. The source added that Sony is looking for interactivity between the two versions, as well as NGP-only extras.

Speaking about the hardware, Eurogamer’s source confirmed that the NGP will have three gyroscopes, compared with the one in the PS3 controller. Also, the front and rear touch panels are capable of six-point multi-touch.


"The touch pad on the back is fantastic," the source said. "It does feel second nature, like you're having a real impact on the world." As an example of the potential, SCEE described squeezing an object in-game by pinching the front and the back simultaneously.

SCEE further outlined its vision for the first five years of the platform and its target audience, with year one focused on "hardcore" and year two on "hardcore and teens", with the expectation that the audience will expand younger and older after that.

Social networking and location-based features were also highlighted for their gaming potential. SCEE suggested, for instance, that "clues could be put on the social networking side" that could lead to "virtual gifts", that could in turn make use of the camera and augmented reality capabilities to distribute "new skins and avatars".



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