Saturday, January 29, 2011

Editorial: My Thoughts on NGP

While it's clear the PSP is on its last legs, or possibly dead, Sony has finally announced that the PSP's successor known as NGP is on the way. It seriously blew my mind and exceeded my wildest expectations. Will it be the next big thing or will it lose right from the starting gate to Apple and Nintendo?

The specs of NGP really blew my mind. This thing is capable of bringing the same experience of playing current gen consoles like Xbox 360 and PS3 to a handheld. Sure NGP is huge but that's because it boasts a 5 inch OLED screen. It also has amazing new parts such as a second analog stick, front and rear cameras, Sixaxis motion controls such as an accelerometer and gyroscope, GPS, Wi-Fi and 3G, a touch screen, and a rear touch panel. I've never seen so many new things added from one generation to the next. The parts added are not just to catch up to its competitors who have motion controls, 3G, and touch screens, but these new parts also enhance gameplay. I was most definitely impressed by Little Deviants, one of the many games coming to NGP. The amount of control I can have over the environment is insane. Uncharted also looked amazing. I don't know if I would use the touch screen or touch panel to control Nathan Drake but the addition of the second analog stick brings those dualshock control I love on the go. I'm very excited for many of the games announced including LittleBigPlanet, Killzone, Uncharted, Call of Duty, and more.

In my editorial about the successor to PSP, I said that in order for it to succeed, it needs to find a core demographic. I am so happy to say that I think NGP found one. Its core demographic is hardcore gamers. I'm sure there are many hardcore gamers who have never even owned a handheld system. NGP will definitely appeal to all hardcore gamers so long as there is a quality software lineup. I'm sure NGP will see many ports of great current gen games within its first year or two as an easy way to cash in. But with such power comes great potential. Imagine a Call of Duty game on NGP that would rival the experience you would get on Xbox 360. This is clearly what NGP is capable of. With applications like Near and the LiveArea page for each game, NGP will feel even more connected to your friends than all current gen systems. It is clear to see that the success of NGP will depend on the software released. It must prove to be all the awesomeness of a current gen game in a tiny package. The new methods of controls such as the touch screen, rear touch panel, and Sixaxis will bring all new methods of control that were not possible before. Even casual games like Angry Birds will be able to receive a full port over to NGP thanks to the PlayStation Suite which will no doubt be successful.

Will I get an NGP at launch? Probably not. It will most likely be expensive, around $300 or $400. I'd rather spend my money on all the other great games releasing this holiday and I probably won't have even close to the amount of money I need for NGP. Seeing the way I get money throughout the year, I will most likely get one within the first year or so of its release. I am getting the Nintendo 3DS at launch since it is affordable at $249 and I definitely have the cash for it. Did NGP steal a bit of the 3DS's thunder? It definitely did but I'm sure both will be successful, even NGP so long as the software lineup remains strong and each system shows what they are capable of with each game.

If you would like to contact Adam Shear, the author of this post, feel free to do so at
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