After months of rumors, leaked photos, and lots of confusion over the new Sony phone, the PSP2’s been somewhat of a mysterious tabloid starlet these days. Early this morning at a press conference in Tokyo, the world got its first real glimpse of Sony’s successor to the PSP, the currently-titled NGP (Next Generation Portable):

Check out the product specs, ripped straight from the press release:

ARM® Cortex™-A9 core (4 core)
External Dimensions
Approx. 182.0 x 18.6 x 83.5mm (width x height x depth) (tentative, excludes largest projection)
(Touch screen)
5 inches (16:9), 960 x 544, Approx. 16 million colors, OLED
Multi touch screen (capacitive type)
Rear touch pad
Multi touch pad (capacitive type)
Front camera, Rear camera
Built-in stereo speakers
Built-in microphone
Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer), Three-axis electronic compass
Built-in GPS
Wi-Fi location service support
PS button
Power button
Directional buttons (Up/Down/Right/Left)
Action buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square)
Shoulder buttons (Right/Left)
Right stick, Left stick
START button, SELECT button
Volume buttons (+/-)
Wireless communications
Mobile network connectivity (3G)
IEEE 802.11b/g/n (n = 1×1)(Wi-Fi) (Infrastructure mode/Ad-hoc mode)
Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR (A2DP/AVRCP/HSP)

With a 5-inch OLED screen that quadruples the resolution of the PSP, a processor capable of handling the Unreal 3 Engine, and the very welcome addition of dual analog sticks, it’s clear that  Sony’s not giving up on the core gaming market. Cameras, GPS, and 3G mean that the NGP won’t be as anti-social as the PSP, and a touchscreen will make browsing the web and using applications a reasonable option… hopefully. Gone are the clunky UMDs; they’ll be replaced by flash memory cards. There’s also a rear touchpad. Huh?

Here’s another look at the device:

To prove that the NGP can run PS3 games, the Sony team demoed Metal Gear Solid 4 on the device. This means the NGP will also be really good at rendering cutscenes. The rest of the release roster isn’t a slouch, and contains about what you’d expect:

  • Killzone
  • Uncharted (With a camera mode)
  • WipEout
  • LittleBigPlanet
  • Call of Duty
  • Resistance
  • Little Deviants
  • Hot Shots Golf
  • Reality Fighters
  • Gravity Daze
  • Smart As
  • Broken
  • Hustle Kings

No Patapon? For shame, Sony.

Sony also announced the Playstation Suite, their new hardware-independent software framework for bringing games to the Android. In plain English, this will bring Playstation applications to any Android device. In extremely plain English, it will let you SNAAAAKE! on your talky box.  It’s an interesting move, especially for a company that fights to keep software proprietary as much as Sony does.

Here’s the first marketing video for the NGP, which doesn’t offer any actual game footage, but touches on all the core device features:

The obvious-beyond-all-conception Play Life would have been rejected by Don Draper out of hand, but there it is.

Like most new Sony products, the NGP seems like a immensely powerful device that does a lot of unsurprising things. Refreshingly, there doesn’t appear to be a gimmick here… but there isn’t a lot of innovation on display, either. What do you think? Weigh in on the boards, or in the comment section below.