Tag - NGP
Sony is holding its E3 press conference for E3 2011 on the USC campus tonight. The company is expected to formally rechristen the NGP as the PSVita, its main challenge to Apple and Nintendo in the gaming space. Visit our live coverage page from 8PM Eastern or 5PM Pacific for real-time updates as they happen.
Amid Sony's NGP-related announcements, the company has confirmed that its upcoming handheld will be compatible with PSP titles. Backward compatibility will be limited to digital releases available in the PlayStation Network, though the hardware differences will require many games to be reconfigured for the NGP's input options.
Sony is currently previewing select games that will be available when the company's NGP handheld arrives on the market. Ahead of E3, the company is holding a private event at the Sony Pictures soundstage in LA to show off the highlight title, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, along with other games such as Hot Shots Golf, Wipeout, Hustle Kings, Soundshapes, and Super Stardust Delta.
Multiple clues have emerged in the past day that the Sony NGP now had a final name. A photo leak and a working developer web domain, vita.scedev.net, have hinted that the quad-core gaming machine will be called the PlayStation Vita. The Sony Computer Entertainment site redirects to a portal but works with subdomains based on other device names, like NGP and PS3, while ignoring other made up addresses.
Sony's CFO Masaru Kato gave out clues in a Memorial Day interview that the NGP would be considerably less expensive to make than earlier PlayStations. He described the handheld system as less "investment heavy" than before. Among the options mentioned to the Wall Street Journal were farming out chip manufacturing to other companies or using off-the-shelf parts.
NVIDIA in another phase of its Computex show rollouts gave the first real demo of its quad-core Kal-El chip (below). A graphics and physics demo, Glowball, showed the future Tegra as the first smartphone-class chip of doing true dynamic lighting while still keeping a smooth frame rate, even with advanced physics for cloth and obstacles. Kal-El is the first mobile chip that can do this at a reasonable speed, NVIDIA said, and dropping to just two cores showed a dramatic slowdown.
Sony might be stripping down the performance of the NGP to better take on the Nintendo 3DS and Apple's iPod touch. A rumor late Thursday from France's 01net claimed that developers had been told the NGP would have half the main RAM, 256MB, and a similar cut to 128MB of video RAM. It may also drop the 16GB of built-in storage and shed the plain SD card slot in favor of a possibly more proprietary format with copy protection; whether that was Memory Stick or another format wasn't mentioned.
OmniVision in its quarterly results call Thursday night dropped clues as to its possible iPhone production plans as well as a key console deal. The camera sensor maker said it was transitioning much of its smartphone work to eight-megapixel sensors and was seeing strong orders from "key customers in the smartphone market" for the next few months ahead. It also clarified plans for its next-generation eight-megapixel sensor, the OV8830; it planned to ship the sensor to "premier brand name" smartphone creators when it was ready in the second half of the year.
Sony gave the first signs of the PlayStation 4 already in development through the earnings call for its latest results. The electronics giant's CFO Masaru Kato explained a rise in research and development costs by noting that "development work is already underway" for the PS3's future replacement. He couldn't say what it was or when it would ship in VentureBeat's recall of the event, although the timing made it unlikely it would be 2011.
Sony ramped itself up for the E3 show with two special deals to put sales over the top. A new Call of Duty: Black Ops Limited Edition PS3 bundle gives users both a 160GB version of the console but also the still-current first-person shooter and the new First Strike add-on pack. It ships on May 31, just a week before the start of E3, for $300.