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Sony Unveils PS Suite, NGP Strategy

1/27/2011 06:31:46 AM Eastern

Tokyo - Sony Computer Entertainment unveiled a next-generation
portable game player on Thursday, as well as what it called its PlayStation
Suite (PS Suite) software designed to bring the PlayStation experience to
Android 2.3-and-higher-based portable devices.

Sony said the PS
Suite will enable playing certain PlayStation content on an open operating
system for the first time.

Meanwhile, the
next-generation portable gaming device, which Sony code-named NGP (Next
Generation Portable), will also accept PS Suite content and incorporates a
multi-touch 5-inch OLED as the front display as well as a multi-touch pad on
the back of the device for new levels of control and interaction.

Sony said the dual
multi-touch pad and screen enables a new level of game play, allowing users to
interact directly with games in three-dimension-like motion, through "touch,
grab, trace, push and pull" moves of the fingers.

Pricing for the NGP and PS Suite were not
disclosed, but both are expected to be ready for delivery by the end of the
calendar year.

The NGP is powered
by a high-performance CPU/GPU to produce rich, graphics for both games and
other digital entertainment content.

It features what
Sony called a "Super Oval Design" and dual analog sticks.

Sony said the design
was developed to fit comfortably in users' hands, while the dual analog sticks
enable a wider range of game genres to be brought into the portable experience.

The device will
also come equipped with two cameras on its front and rear, as well as three
motion sensors, gyroscope, accelerometer and electronic compass, "to enable
users to enjoy the world of entertainment that is linked with real life
experiences."

Sony said that
bringing PlayStation content to a broad range of mobile devices, including
mobile phones, smartphones and tablet PCs, through the PS Suite will expand the
business opportunities for both Sony and PlayStation game developers.

The selection of
the Android operating system furthers Sony's involvement with Google. Late last
year, the two companies introduced a series of Internet TVs powered by Google
TV software.

Meanwhile, Sony
said it will commence a PlayStation Certified license program for hardware
manufacturers.

Through this
program, SCE will offer necessary support, including development and logo
licensing to ensure a consistent level of PlayStation quality across various
devices, the company said.

On the content
side, Sony said it expects to deliver the first PS Suite software within this
calendar year, starting with original PlayStation One classic games that will
allow users to enjoy "PlayStation quality" game play on their Android devices.

SCE also plans to
open a PlayStation Store, where users will be able to download content directly
to Android-based portable devices.

Newly developed
content for PS Suite can also be played on the next NGP device. Sony said its
strategy is to let users who may have never experienced PlayStation gaming "get
a taste of the PlayStation experience through PS Suite, and from there they can
enjoy the ultimate portable entertainment experience that is only possible on
NGP."

NGP is designed to also enable social
connectivity along with game play by leveraging SCE's experience from both its PSP
and PlayStation3 entertainment systems.

The device will include both Wi-Fi and 3G
network connectivity.

Every game title
for NGP will be provided with a space called "LiveArea" where users can engage
each other and access the latest information on games provided from SCE and
third-party developers and publishers through PlayStation Network.

Additionally, NGP
users will be able to view an Activity log that is constantly updated with
accomplishments from users who are playing the same game, which in turn can
trigger active real-time communication among users.

Sony will also provide location-based services
on NGP as part of the basic features utilizing PlayStation Network. The new application,
called "Near," will be pre-installed in the system to let users find out what
their friends in the vicinity are playing.

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