Posts tagged ‘NGP’


The current PS Vita backwards compatibility list* is live

by wfgodbold

Looks like I’ll be forking over ¥1,000 to play Growlanser and Disgaea on the PS Vita.

Siliconera notes that this is roughly 3/7 of the total PSP games currently on the PSN for download. (Well, they give the numbers themselves; I provided the fraction, because fractions are awesome. Who can’t immediately visualize 3/7?)

Square Enix, Capcom, and Namco Bandai haven’t joined in yet, but this list isn’t comprehensive; Sony’s original news regarding the UMD Passport program listed Falcom (and Square Enix, for that matter). I figure it will be updated as they work out the licensing arrangements with the various developers.

That said, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and get a PS Vita at the US launch (using a combination of various credits, coupons, game trade-ins, and the like to lower my price at amazon by a great deal). I’ll probably just pick up Uncharted: Golden Abyss from the US launch lineup; I’ll also have Tales of Innocence R (which releases in Japan ~1 month before the US system launch), and with Growlanser and Disgaea, that should keep me busy for some time.**

*For Japan, at least.

**When I’m not losing my mind at law school, anyway. I think a portable system will be convenient for between classes; I’m more likely to have time to game there than at home, and I can’t study all the time.


The PS Vita and PSP backwards compatibility

by wfgodbold

Sony has finally come clean about the limited BC the PS Vita will have available.

After downloading a registering app onto your PSP, you can register UMDs to a specific PSN account, and then, if the developer of that game has allowed it, you can pay a fee (ranging (at this time) from ¥500-1500 (per game)).

This is better than nothing, and probably the best Sony could do; the games are the developers’, and if they don’t want people to be able to copy them, that’s their right. Not all developers have agreed to make their games available, either.

Any PSP games bought through the PSN are already compatible with the PS Vita, no hoop-jumping required.

I imagine most people will keep their PSPs around for their old games; if you’ve got a big library of games, it could cost you quite a bit to make them all PS Vita compatible. For a few select games, though, it would make more sense.


Here’s hoping Sony takes this survey seriously

by wfgodbold

Because a UMD drive peripheral for the NGP PS Vita would be the best news regarding their new handheld console since we first heard it would be region free.

Ideally such a drive would let you copy the UMD to the PSV’s onboard storage, but even being required to play with a dongle of some sort would be better than all your PSP games only being playable on your PSP (aside from whatever PSN purchases you’ve made).

The PSV is perfectly capable of playing PSP games; Sony has already announced that it will be able to play games downloaded via the PSN; since not all games are available on the PSN, this would kill two birds with one stone: the PSV would be completely backwards compatible, and gamers wouldn’t have to rebuy any games they’d previously bought to play them on the PSV.


Nintendo falls from heaven…

by wfgodbold

Mainly because of extremely poor 3DS sales (though another large factor is the strong yen, especially relative to the dollar).

To try to move more units, they’re cutting the system’s price in Japan by ¥10,000 (to ¥15,000) and in the US by $80 (to $170). That’s closer to what I’m willing to pay, though I’d be far more amenable if it weren’t region locked.

The new lower price point should make it more competitive with Sony’s PS Vita when it launches this winter, since it will be priced at $250 (for the wifi model; 3G will run $299). In the meantime, though, Nintendo will have to hope that software sales make up for the loss they’re going to be eating with every 3DS sold. With a big enough increase in the user base, that should be possible.

And if you do buy a new, lower priced 3DS (starting August 12th), pay no attention to that burning sensation in your eyes. That’s entirely normal.


Finally, details on the NGP that aren’t rank speculation

by wfgodbold

It’s not going to be officially called the NGP; the actual console name is the PlayStation Vita.

The wifi only model will be $250, and the 3G model (via AT&T) will be $300.

Sony is aiming for a worldwide release by the end of 2011.

Over 150 developers have signed on to support the NGP (PSV. Whatever.), including Falcom, Namco, SEGA, tri-Ace, and Square Enix.

It’s got an OLED touch screen, and a touch pad on the back, a built in mic, a PSV card slot, a memory card slot (probably some Memory Stick variant), and front and rear cameras.

That leak was fairly accurate (even if some of the information it contains doesn’t appear to have been presented).

It’s an impressive little system, and unlike the 3DS, it won’t give anyone who tries to use it a splitting headache.

No word yet on whether it will be region-free, though; hope springs eternal.


NGP details leaked!

by wfgodbold

If accurate, at E3 Sony will release the following information about their Next Generation Portable:

  • It will be released in time for Christmas 2011 in Japan; overseas, March 2012 is more likely.
  • The price will compete directly with the 3DS’s (for the non-3G model); the 3G capable model will probably cost more. Roughly ¥25000.
  • The leak does not reveal specifics regarding the memory; initial estimates put main memory at 512MB, graphics memory at 128MB, but recently it seems more likely that the main memory will be 256MB. They are trying to make the OS as small as possible (to ~26MB) and will put it in very fast memory. The graphics memory estimate is unchanged at 128MB.
  • The system’s initially planned 16GB of flash memory for games and data has been eliminated; games will be available on cards similar to SD cards.

No other new data was leaked; this may change with the presentation at E3, or may be inaccurate.

The total memory tops out at 410MB (256 + 128 + 26), which puts the NGP on par with the iPhone and the iPad 2’s 512MB of memory.

It looks like the original source was in French, which was then translated into Japanese, and which I have subsequently rendered into English. Telephone game rules apply (and my translation hat is probably a bit rusty).


3DS and NGP news, or Lash me to the mast and call me Odysseus

by wfgodbold

‘Cause the 3DS’s siren song is working.

Engadet’s review makes it sound like the 3DS invented sliced bread whilst walking across water; I have to admit, the augmented reality games sound pretty cool. They confirm that the system is region-locked (though given the current ¥-$ exchange rate, that’s probably for the best, especially for my wallet), though they do point out that the region-locking only affects 3DS games; DS games from any region should still work fine.

The big news on the NGP front is that all of the games will be downloadable, and some might not have a physical release at all. Hopefully the bigger titles will be released on physical media at some point; I thought one of the main drawbacks to the PSP G0 was that there was no way to get UMD-only releases onto the console without hacking.

Now all Sony needs to do is give me a way to get my UMD games into digital format for playing on the NGP, and I’ll be set to upgrade.


Impressive… Most Impressive.

by wfgodbold

Though I didn’t realize exactly how big the NGP was until watching this video; it’s noticeably larger than the PSP is.

The games seem to make pretty good use of the touch screen without it getting too gimmicky. I imagine experience developing for the DS has helped make that possible; otherwise they’d make you use the screen as the main control, instead of just for smaller, more appropriate actions (like dusting for fingerprints). I’m still not convinced about the wisdom of the rear touch panel, though. If it’s not implemented carefully, gamers could really screw things up inadvertently.


A challenger has appeared!

by wfgodbold

It looks to me like the 3DS is going to have some pretty solid competition towards the end of this year; Sony announced today the specs for their next generation portable console, aptly codenamed NGP.

It’s got an OLED multi-touch screen, dual analog sticks (not the nub that the PSP had, actual sticks), and a touch interface (it’s not a screen) on the back of the system (you can control it with your fingers without blocking the actual screen).

Games will be available either via download or at retail on flash memory style cartridges; that should speed load times up significantly over the UMD hobbled PSP.

The system itself is apparently almost as powerful as the PS3, which puts it far ahead of Nintendo’s 3DS, even without the capability for glasses-free 3D.

It looks like the press conferences didn’t cover whether the system would have region locks or not; if I were a gambling man, I would lay odds that it won’t be region locked.  While the PS1 and PS2 both were, the PSP is region free, as is the PS3.  I don’t think it would make much sense for Sony to go back to region locking their systems, unless they expect the economy to further worsen.

No price point was announced.  Speculation ranges from $250 or $300 all the way up to $500 or $600 for the system.  I think it’s likely that they’ll price it around $300; it’s higher than the 3DS, but the system is more powerful, and it’s not so much higher as not to be competitive.

One point in Sony’s favor is the large list of software developers that have agreed to develop for the NGP.  Nintendo’s systems have always had strong first party games, but the third party titles are generally lackluster.  Sony has been good about cultivating third party support for just about the entire time they’ve been involved in gaming, and high quality third party games could make or break their system.

The NGP will probably perform about like the PSP did (when compared to the respective Nintendo system); it won’t do as well, but it will still do well enough to make a profit.

The control scheme will make a big difference as well; two analog sticks will mean that first-person shooters will be easy to make/port to the NGP, and will control better than the 3DS releases will (since that system only has the one analog stick).

I’m more interested in the NGP at the moment; glasses-free 3D is a nifty gimmick, but Sony hasn’t yet let me down on the gaming front.  Hopefully they’ll deliver the goods here, as well.

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