E3: Sony’s Press Conference

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Sony held their press conference at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena with over 6000 attendees waiting to see what they had to offer up this year, especially in light of the PSN outage. Though they didn’t drop too many bombshells, Sony did their best to get people excited for the Move and their new handheld, the PS Vita. 

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Sony reveals Next Generation Portable

Sony Computer Entertainment officially unveiled its Next Generation Portable (NGP) gaming system Thursday after weeks of speculation and leaks.

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The NGP news follows Nintendo’s recent announcement that its next portable, the 3DS will go on sale March 27 at the suggested retail price of $249.99.

The NGP’s price and exact release date went undisclosed when Sony announced the NGP in Tokyo. Here’s what the PlayStation makers did say, in addition to the system coming out near the end of this year:

  • Multi-touch 5-inch organic light emitting display (OLED) as the front display
  • Multi-touch pad on the rear of the device
  • Dual analog sticks
  • Two cameras (front and rear)
  • Software titles on small, dedicated flash memory-based cards
  • Three motion sensors, gyroscope, accelerometer and electronic compass
  • Wi-Fi and 3G network connectivity
  • PlayStation Network access, including “”LiveArea”, “Near” and “Activity” log features Trophy Support
  • NGP will be able to play PSP titles, minis, PS one classics, video and comics from the PlayStation Store.

Players can also expect NGP releases in the Call of Duty, Uncharted, Hot Shots Golf, Resistance, Little Big Planet and other series.

Thus far, 2011 is shaping up to be an interesting one for portable gaming. The Associated Press points out that Nintendo and Sony are not only competing with each other, but smartphone makers like Apple for players’ attention and money.

The popularity of
smart phones including the iPhone is a potential threat to game machine
makers as more people play games, watch video, send e-mail and chat on
cell phones. People are also using other portable devices such as
Apple’s iPod and iPad to play games.


Sony’s
new machine, known for now by its code-name NGP, comes packed with
motion sensor and GPS location technology so that gamers can tilt and
sway the machine to play golf games, kill monsters and experience other
“virtual realities,” said Kazuo Hirai, who heads Sony Corp.’s gaming
section

Such features seem to be designed with the so-called “casual gamer” in mind, and this writer would be inclined to say the NGP buyer and person who Angry Birds on his or her iPhone may not be in the same target markets.

But this writer is not a Sony executive, and those who are seem to be intent on doubling down their bet in the gadget market. The much-hyped Sony Ericcson Xperia Play, AKA the PlayStation phone, is also said to be on the way to the marketplace and Engadget has peek at a prototype. Check it out.