Sony unveils successor to PSP, the Sony NGP

If you like your portable gaming with a Sony flavor, then good news: the company has officially revealed the follow-up to the PlayStation Portable. The Sony NGP (Next Generation Portable) will launch this holiday season for an as-yet-unconfirmed price.

It may just look like a sleeker PSP, but this is a serious piece of kit. There’s a stunning 5-inch OLED screen (with a 960 x 544 resolution – four times as great as the PSP’s), twin analogue sticks, a front touchscreen and rear touchpad (err …), 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, a 4 to 5 hour battery life (thanks, Eurogamer), and a bunch more stuff that I’ve pasted below.

Oh yeah, and it has games. Sony is getting rid of the UMD format that it introduced for PSP, and will instead offer software on new flash memory-based cards. The games shown so far, including Uncharted: Portable and new iterations of Killzone, Wipeout, Resistance, LittleBigPlanet and Call of Duty, are visually on a par with most PlayStation 3 titles.

No price yet, but it should be fascinating to see how the NGP does against the Nintendo 3DS and increasingly strong iPhone. Some say the NGP is doomed, but I wouldn’t count this out so fast. Scroll down for the full hardware specifications and a video of the big reveal in Japan.

“Next Generation Portable Entertainment System” Hardware Specs

CPU: ARM Cortex-A9 core (4 core)
External Dimensions: Approx. 182.0 x 18.6 x 83.5mm (width x height x depth) (tentative, excludes largest projection)
Screen: 5 inches (16:9), 960 x 544, Approx. 16 million colors, OLED
Touchscreen: Multi-touch screen (capacitive type)
Rear touchpad: Multi-touch pad (capacitive type)
Cameras: Front camera; rear camera
Sound: Built-in stereo speakers; built-in microphone
Sensors: Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer); three-axis electronic compass
Location: Built-in GPS; Wi-Fi location service support
Keys/Switches: PS button; power button; directional buttons (Up/Down/Right/Left); action buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square); shoulder buttons (Right/Left); right and left sticks; Start button; Select button; volume buttons (+/-)
Wireless communications: Mobile network connectivity (3G); IEEE 802.11b/g/n (n = 1×1) (Wi-Fi) (Infrastructure mode/Ad-hoc mode); Bluetooth 2.1+EDR (A2DP/AVRCP/HSP)