Sony’s PSP successor is definitely an impressive little machine, basically putting a PlayStation 3 in the palms of your hands. The platform was loaded not only in a technical sense, but with tons of features as well. At the end of the day, it all sounded expensive and Sony didn’t have a price for us. According to 01.net’s source, Sony realized that the price may be a little too high.
01.net’s source claims that the NGP will have have reduced RAM and internal memory than originally intended to try to reduce the price of the system. The source claims that the 512MB of RAM will be reduced to 256 MB, and that the 16GB of internal memory has been removed in favor of cheaper external memory.
Again, this is a rumor so it is in no way confirmed, but this kind of move would be a double-edged sword. On one side, fans will be mad because of what would have been in the system will no longer be, and others will be glad that the system is being dropped down to a more affordable price. If it is true, hopefully this move pushed the system to a competitive price range.
(Translation Source: 1Up)
We’re still not entirely sure when the NGP is coming. Initially, many seemed to be speculating a 2012 release, but it seems more and more likely for a 2011 release. According to this rumor, it will be launching later this year and it will be hitting a region other than Japan first. But we’ve heard similar rumors multiple times. What’s more intresting is the extra baggage this rumor carries.
According to the sources of the UK website, Jolt, Sony has four first party titles locked in for launch right now. The list includes Mod Nation Racers, Wipeout 2048, Smart As and most important of all, Uncharted. The source also claims that Resistance for the NGP will be launching sometime within January and March in 2012.
If true, that’s a pretty strong line-up for launch. This doesn’t even include offerings that third parties may have. NGP is likely to be a huge part of Sony’s E3 presentation in June. So it won’t be too long until we get some solid details.
Lazard Capital Markets, who recently said Nintendo 3DS was having some trouble in stores, revealed that Sony told analysts at an analyst event that NGP will be launching in the US in 2011. Apparently this date was stated before to analysts as they were actually “reconfirming” the date for them.
Europe is rumored for a 2011 release as well, but Sony was unclear about a 2011 release of the platform in Europe when asked at the event. E3 is creeping up on us, so we can probably expect to hear more in the next couple of months.
SCEA’s Jack Trenton recently told us that the launch of the NGP may be effected by the earthquake that happened last month in Japan. SonyJapan doesn’t want you thinking that. According to Sony, Jack Trenton’s statement was “wrong.” “So far we see no impact from the quake on our launch plan,” a Sony representative said to Wall Street Journal. Despite Trenton’s comments, Sony also said they never promised a simultaneous launch.
The only hints we’ve seen for a release so far is a rumor floating around that the platform is set for a November 2011 release in Europe.
The PSP tinkered with full retail digital download titles available through PSN. Some third parties weren’t on board though, as titles like Square-Enix’s Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep are only available via UMD. Maybe not that bad of an issue for normal PSP users, but PSPGO users completely missed out on the experience. Sony plans on setting the record straight on NGP.
Sony’s Andrew House spoke with MCV about their digital strategy. And while House notes that some titles aren’t always best experienced via download, the option will, at the very least be there starting from day one.
“One thing we learnt from PSP, is that we want to have simultaneous delivery in digital and physical for NGP. Just to clarify that, all games that appear physically will be made available digitally. Not necessarily all games have to be made available physically. And having the option of a digital-only method affords more creative risk-taking, and that’s because you don’t-have that in-built risk of physical inventory.”
Personally, I’ll still stick to physical media. Fancy shiny cases, pre-order deals, and the physical units on your gaming shelf is half the value to me. Although, carrying around all those silly flash cards is definitely a reason to go digital.
We’ve all seen the NGP, and it looks great. But I think the question that came to everyone’s mind was, ‘how much is this going to cost?’ Well, Ubisoft may have an idea of how much Sony will be charging for the platform.
A research firm sponsored by Ubisoft sent out surveys which included questions about the consumer’s feelings on the NGP. One of the questions in particular started off saying, “the retail price of the Sony NGP is expected to be around $350” for the 3G enabled SKU, while placing the 3G-less version at $250. The question was meant to ask if this price point was too high for the consumer.
With a rumored 2011 release in multiple regions, Sony will probably need to start talking price points soon. Of course, they could pull a Nintendo and just wait to tell us two months before release, followed by waiting a month before release to tell us what software will even be available at launch.
Perhaps one of the most appealing aspect of portable titles to publishers are their relatively lost costs to develop for. The Nintendo DS and the Game Boy Advanced before it are a huge powerhouses of software because of this. But with every generation prices rise, and the upcoming set of handhelds are no different.
According to a studio head, early titles for the platforms “clearly have budgets two-to-three times what typical DS games have seen in the past.” The main reasons for this increase in costs? “It simply takes more time and effort to design towards all the devices’ advanced features.”
It’s a bit sad to see that the further we go in the handheld space the less opportunity developers will have in the retail market. But with the growth of downloadable content, developers now have more than just one outlet for their titles.
(Source: Develop Online)
News about Sony’s new handheld has hit, and because of it I’m doing something special with the format of this article! Instead of just 5 bullet points, there will be 2 for one side and two for another, with the same reason for both sides in the middle! Like all experiments, this could go well or could blow up a building. Let’s see how it goes!
Continue reading Gimme Five! Special 5/2 Edition: Why The NGP Will Be Great/Be Bad For Sony
Bored with your PS3 yet? Better not be! PC Impress talked to Sony’s Kaz Hirari about the possibility of a PS4, or some other sort of next generation home console, in the near future.
“The PS3 was put into business in 2006, and it has a 10 year life cycle. This means that we aren’t even at the halfway point. There are certainly many more desirable first and third party titles coming out. As we announce and implement new initiatives on an annual basis, I still believe in the importance of improving the software and feature set of the PS3.
“I think the value of the PS3 will continue to rise. Because of this, a near-future PS4 or next-generation home console is not something that we are even debating now. That is to say, we are still concentrating fully upon the PS3.”
But of course, Sony’s new handheld, NGP, is indeed on the way. It sounds like we will be hearing more of it soon. On March 2nd, SCEA plans to give a lecture titled “Next Generation Portable Platform.” The main focus behind the event seems to be to talk to developers about the features of the NGP and how to effectively use them.
So, expect more NGP soon. Don’t expect PS4 soon.
(NGP GDCVia: VG247)
Gamestop doesn’t seem to have a problem with listing prices for products it hasn’t received official prices for, but even so they now have the NGP listed for a release date of January 1st, 2012 (which also seems like a strange date) on their website, but more importantly, with a price tag of $299.99.
Again, this is ONLY A RUMOR so take this information with a grain of salt. A $300 price tag seems appropriate for the NGP, which would notably be more expensive than the 3DS (but we were already expecting that), but with more potential capabilities than Nintendo’s handheld. No matter what, a price in this rumored range is definitely a lot better than the Playstation 3 at launch date ($599.99).
Continue reading Rumor: Gamestop Reveals NGP Price and Release Date