When it comes to handhelds no one has ever done it better than Nintendo. Late last night and early this morning the PSP2, code named Next Gen Portable (NGP), was revealed to the world in pretty spectacular fashion. While it doesn’t nearly boast PS3 graphics as some people claimed, Sony admitted the graphic capabilities were “close” to a PS3. Considering it’s running around with a quad core processor and a stunning 5inch 900xwhatever display that is just magnificent it might as well stay in the “portable ps3” category. Oh, it has dual joysticks – thought many claim they are merely just improved versions of the PSP’s nub analog stick. This is definitely one powerful system. However, sony decided to do something a little different this time around.
They naturally made the giant front screen a touch pad, following in the steps that Nintendo and Apple have set up with their devices. What wasn’t expected, however, is a panel on the backside of the system that is also a touch pad – more similarly related to a laptop mouse type technology. Apparently you can touch the back pad and front at the same time to create new and unique gameplay experiences. Most of the footage shown off using the back touch bad was to create a “pressing up” impression in the game, minipulating the actual ground to move balls around, and at one point used in Uncharted to climb some vines. Nothing overly impressive, but like the DS more unique functions are sure to spring out of the technology.
There was no price point released, but the product is due out by the end of this year. This really brings the Nintendo 3DS verse the Sony NGP debate squarely to the front of the gaming world. From the few videos out there and the impressions of the games for the NGP so far, it appears that the 3DS does hold up well graphically in comparison. Outside of the fact the 3DS also boasts some impressive processing power, the resolution differences between the two screens are minimal. The Nintendo 3DS is a 800xwhatever resolution, so the NGP only edges it slightly, which is a big deal in looking at the pixels.
The big debate is this right now: NGP features two thumb sticks, more power, and a back pad touch control system. The Nintendo 3DS features “optional” 3D effects without glasses, more power, and a circle pad (essentially, one thumbstick). Which one is better? Which one wins? Until we see some more compelling uses of the touch pad on the back of the NGP, the edge still has to go to the 3DS. Heck, the 3DS is expensive already, so I can’t imagine what the price point will be for the NGP.
NGP also has 3G wireless support, gets games via digital downloads only (so it appears, sorry retailers),a nd bluetooth support. Both features the 3DS doesn’t have, thought naturally the 3DS can and does use the internet at decent speeds, and features a nice streepass feature that mimicks what the bluetooth assuredly provides the NGP. Overall, both are impressive systems, but for now, fanboyism aside, the 3DS still takes the cake. It has 3D without glasses, something no one saw coming. The NGP has a nice back touch bad, but so far it appears gimmicky at best. We just haven’t seen enough. Nintendo 3DS, you win round 2.