NGP Wishlist

Posted on February 2, 2011

Sony’s NGP (Next-Generation Portable) was recently announced in Tokyo with great fanfare at the PlayStation Meeting. Once unveiled, the folks at Sony broke down some of the system’s features including front and rear touch screens, two cameras for the possibility of augmented reality, dual analog sticks, gyroscope, accelerometer, graphics on par with the PS3, and more. Still, what good is an impressive feature set without the software to back it up? Though the original PSP was fine multimedia machine, it only had a few winners in its game library, which was not nearly enough to compete with Nintendo’s DS. Not to mention that the PSPgo was DOA. Can Sony make amends with its upcoming handheld?

According to Sony, 82 publishers have already signed on to support the NGP with franchises like Call of Duty, Resistance, LittleBigPlanet, Wipeout, Uncharted, and Killzone. Here are some other titles we’d like to see on the NGP.

Non-stop Action

Something like the PS3-exclusive thriller Heavy Rain would be entirely welcome on Sony’s NGP. QTEs could be executed using standard buttons, the touch screens, and in more intense scenarios, shake off an offender thanks to the system’s accelerometer. Quick time combos could also easily be executed in a new God of War game for NGP. Hit the appropriate buttons then execute a swipe using one of the NGP’s touch screens for a satisfying (and bloody) beheading. For even more slicing action, take a concept like the one from Metal Gear Solid Rising and bring the franchise to the NGP using both multitouch pads to cut through enemies like butter.

Vehicular Mayhem

The NGP stands a good chance to deliver a gorgeous-looking racing title, preferably Burnout or a portable Gran Turismo. With true dual analog sticks (by far the system’s most exciting feature) and the option of accelerometer technology, this would make for the ideal portable racing experience if done right. For even more vehicular antics, the PSP was home to a number of Grand Theft Auto titles, but the nub made it a pain to cruise through Liberty City. The thought of terrorizing Vice City, San Andreas, or maybe an entirely new location on the go using the portable’s twin thumbsticks sounds enticing. It would also be great to engage in vehicular combat on the NGP with a Twisted Metal title.

PlayStation Network

Of course you can’t forget Sony’s other revenue stream, PlayStation Network. If the cloud-saving rumors are true, I envision a world where you can download a game off PSN that can be played on both the PS3 and NGP. Saves could be delivered to a server that can be accessed on either console so you’re always making progress regardless of where you play your games. With two touch screens, the NGP could capitalize on the iPhone marketplace with games like Angry Birds or Cut the Rope. Sony could also bring Flower over to the system and use the accelerometer to steer flower petals across the game’s gorgeous landscapes. Or bring something like Echochrome to NGP that could use the gyroscope function in a way that will change the view of the game based on how the handheld is tilted.

Keeping Our Options Open

Probably the most important thing to note, however, is though the NGP’s functionality is intriguing, developers will hopefully make these functions optional. Taking in-game environmental photos in Uncharted by moving the NGP around in real time may work in the privacy of your living room, however it’s not quite as practical on a crowded bus. Also, you’ll look a little weird and will require more than your fair share of elbow room.

Reader’s Choice

We put the question out to you all in a recent reader discussion asking what games you’d make for NGP. The overwhelming response was Final Fantasy VII (no big surprise there). There were also requests for Sly Cooper, InFamous, Jak & Daxter, and Ratchet & Clank, and we couldn’t agree more. Can you think up some cool ways to apply the NGP’s technology to these or other games?


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Categories: Game News, Game Secrets


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