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Sony Unveils PSP Successor And New Mobile Games Suite

Sony has showcased its next generation successor to the PSP and a brand new mobile gaming suite for Android.

Company president Kaz Hirai unveiled the new PSP - which has been codenamed the NGP (Next Generation Portable) - and PlayStation Suite, an Android-based mobile gaming platform, at the "PlayStation Meeting 2011" event in Japan this morning.

The successor to the PSP will feature a 5 inch OLED touchscreen, 3G wireless connectivity - a first for a handheld games console - in addition to GPS and Wi-Fi, dual analog sticks, an electronic compass based on three-axis, as well as front and rear touchpads and cameras. Sony claims the OLED screen will offer 4 times the resolution of the original PSP.

The touchpads will allow users to move characters as well as perform actions like jumping, pulling and pushing.

Unlike its predecessor, the NGP will not use UMD disks, but instead will run off flash-based memory cards and downloadable content.

The key points that Hirai promised the new device would deliver were: "A new interface that translates actions into inputs", "Location based entertainment" and will allow users to converge "real and virtual worlds via augmented reality".

To this end the company introduced Near, a location feature for the NGP which shows where the device has travelled and where games are most popular by location.

The console will also include a new user interface (UI) called LiveArea, which is used to open games, chat with friends, receive news on games and view trophies.

It is also said to be as powerful as its bigger brother the PlayStation 3.

Some of the games showcased for the NGP were versions of Little Big Planet, WipEout, Reality Fighters, Uncharted, Daze and Killzone.

Content developed for PlayStation Suite will also be accessible from the NGP.

Speaking on the subject of PlayStation Suite, Hirai said: "When we released PSP, cell phone providers were unable to deliver PlayStation quality content. After 6 years, these multi-function handheld devices are ready for PlayStation-like experiences."

"PS Suite provides a new framework that supports the development of games for portable devices".

PlayStation Suite content be launched across the Android platform over the next calender year. The NGP will launch over Christmas 2011. No pricing information has yet been made available.