Betcha didn't think this day would come, but it finally has. Sony has just come clean with its next-generation PlayStation Portable. It's actually codenamed NGP and will revolve around five key concepts: Revolutionary User Interface, Social Connectivity, Location-based Entertainment, Converging Real and Virtual (augmented) Reality. It will be compatible with the PlayStation Suite and is backwards-compatible with downloadable PSP games and content from Sony's PlayStation Store.
Specs include a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, 5-inch touchscreen OLED display with 960 x 544 resolution, dual analog sticks (not nubs as on the current generation), 3G, WiFi, GPS, a rear-mounted touchpad, the same accelerometer / gyroscope motion sensing as in the PlayStation Move, an electronic compass, and cameras on both the front and back. Available this holiday season. Wait... what?!
Games will come on "new media," not UMD anymore, but we're unclear on what sort of flash memory is being used. Sony's rather proud of the fact it's offering the world's first dual analog stick combo on a portable device, though we're more geeked about the quadrupling of pixel count from the original PSP.
Sony's live event has been graced by demos of some pretty popular games, including Killzone,Resistance, Little Big Planet, and Uncharted -- with the latter serving as a demo platform to show off how the NGP's rear touchpad can be used to more intuitively climb up some vines. That touch panel on the back is the same size and positioned directly under the front OLED touchscreen, which allows for some pretty sophisticated controls when using the two simultaneously.
The new console's UI will be called LiveArea, which has a bunch of vertically navigable home screens and built-in social networking through PlayStation Network. You can jump between games and the LiveArea without losing your progress and comment on your buddies' great feats of mobile gaming.
In closing its presentation, Sony trotted out Hideo Kojima to show off a cutscene from MGS 4 rendered in real time on the NGP. It was pulled directly from the PS3 version of the game and ran at 20fps, which looked very smooth indeed to our liveblogging eyes. Videos and Sony's full PR are now available below.