updated 05:20 am EST, Thu March 3, 2011
Will still offer exceptional performance
Sony platform research manager David Coombes has told the audience at the Game Developers' Conference (GDC) that while the Sony NGP will have exceptional performance from its quad-core ARM-based chip and quad-core graphics, that it won't match the PS3 for processor performance. The NGP processor can theoretically scale to speeds of 2GHz, however, it would not be clocked at that speed in the device when it ships. "Some people in the press have said wow, this thing... could be as powerful as PS3," Coombes said. "Well, it's not going to run at 2GHz because the battery would last five minutes... and it would probably set fire to your pants."
During his talk, Coombes also mentioned that the NGP would be using solid state game cards that will come in either 2GB or 4GB sizes, which will naturally play a significant role in shaping the nature of the games developed for it. This compares with up to 9GB for a PS3 game, but still remains substantially larger than most smartphone gaming titles.
Coombes also gave more details about the two different versions of the console that Sony will ship. One will be Wi-Fi only, while the other will also incorporate 3G connectivity as well as a GPS receiver. The Wi-Fi-only model is capable of positioning by utilizing Skyhook technology, which works by triangulating a user's location by cross-referencing nearby Wi-Fi hotspots.
In addition to the NGP's analogue controls, the NGP also features a capacitive touchscreen and a touchpad on the rear of the device. Coombes noted that these will detect "pressure" by determining the relative width of fingers when pressed against them.
The NGP is set to ship by the end of 2011, although its pricing has not yet been detailed. [via Eurogamer]