Saturday, May 21, 2011

E3's Coming, Which Means the NGP is Too!

My goal is to make every picture using this stock photo with obvious photoshops on it.
Since it was announced, and the specs were put out for us to say what we predicted correctly, there actually hasn't been a lot of NGP news.  Partly for the fact that people have a lot more sensational Sony news to report lately, and mostly, from what I can figure, well, the general lack of anything new coming out for it, tech-wise.  Which is a bit interesting, as either Sony is doing a good job at keeping this under wraps, or people are just waiting for E3 to get closer to really put info out there for maximum interest.  And, given that it's just about time, hopefully we'll start seeing some info coming out.

But definitely, definitely what we're going to end up getting from E3 will be a name, a price, and hopefully a release date.  So basically this post would be me saying what I expect as I have been known to predict things NGP-related.  Some launch games to be announced would be nice as well, and while I expect a couple to be tossed out, I don't expect a full list at all.

First off, as far as the name goes, I have a few thoughts on it.  I'm not sure what I expect the full name to be, but I could definitely see them sticking with the NGP, since it's stuck this long.  The name "Next Generation Portable" won't stick, but they could easily swap out the Next Generation part for something that also starts with NG.  The only other thing I can think of is "New Gaming", which is mostly worse than "Next Generation" but you get where I'm coming from.  My lack of being able to think is just not helping my point, is all.

The fact remains that they very likely could go with "PSP2" as the name, given their numeric scheme for names, but many will argue, likely for little reason other than to detract, that associating it with the PSP directly is one way to really kill interest in it.  Since the PSP 'failed' so hard, you see, despite selling somewhere in the neighborhood of 67.8 million units worldwide.  And as much as I disagree with that, I wouldn't mind a name other than "PSP2", though will happily accept PSP2 if that's what they really end up going with.

It's working so far.
The big sticking point on everyone's minds whenever the NGP comes up is what the price will be.  Obviously, Sony hasn't proven themselves to be quite reasonable with past pricing schemes, but we can always hope they'll have learned their multiple lessons on the subject.  Prices anywhere from $200-400 have been thrown around, as well as $999 for people who don't know what a placeholder is, but the general consensus is somewhere in the middle.  For the simple fact that there will be two models, one with wi-fi only and one with 3G as well, an obvious price discrepancy will be in place between the two of them, so you have to think of a high-end and a low-end.  My actual, actual guess at the price is $249.99 for the Wi-Fi model and $299.99 for the 3G model.  As much as I hope both could be lower, that's really looking like what the picture is.

Which, given the 3DS, the thing that everyone expects to completely smash the NGP, is priced at $249.99 as well, would be a very good move, especially if you really push everything that makes the two different.  (The second touch panel, second stick, PSN support, trophy support, etc.)  One would hope upon hope that Sony really resists the urge to add the customary "Ours is better" extra cost, bringing the pricing up to $299.99 and $349.99, if only for the fact that people will harp on the high-end of that.  Only time will tell on that front, though.

I can't wait til we get actual pictures of this thing instead of stock photos.
As far as launch games, I'm not too sure any of the titles shown off so far will actually make the launch window, instead relying on 3rd-Party Support to carry it, if only to show that 3rd Parties are, in fact interested in developing for the thing.  Although, if anything, I could see the Resistance title being in the launch line-up if just for the fact that it started on the PS3 as a launch, so it would be nice to have that sort of parity.  And despite my love for Uncharted as a series, and my high-opinion of Naughty Dog, I just don't think the Uncharted game will be a launch title.  And for every bit of me that hopes that it will be, I hope that it won't be either, since it will likely be -the game- to be released on it shortly after launch that will start getting people to really get it, since it shatters the perception of "Well, launch titles usually suck, just gonna wait" that people normally have after a new system comes out.

One thing that does have me a little annoyed, re: the games now that the facts have come out, is the fact that there's not going to be any on-board storage for the NGP.  If anything, that's one advantage the PSPGo clearly had over any other PSP, as it meant you didn't really have to splurge on cards to put all your games on and, instead, you had everything right there.  And not only that, if I remember the rumors clearly, then the sticks that the games come on will have the storage needed for the DLC and patches post-release which could likely end up messy unless you can leave a good portion of storage free.  Hopefully that will change in a way that lets your memory sticks be sort of a catch-all for that sort of stuff, but it may be an issue of 'it's gotta be that way'.  Again, one of those wait and see deals.

With any luck, this thing will see a release date that puts it firmly in the the Holiday season everywhere, which would help get it on Christmas lists everywhere.  The flip-flopping of "It will be delayed" and "It won't be delayed" after the Japan crisis has that sort of in a gray area, but I imagine things have been sorted well enough on that.  Regardless, whenever it releases, it will be high on my get-list, provided the price is right.

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