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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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