Since the announcement just a few days ago about Sony's new
PSP2 ^NGP, we've had all sorts of speculation and wonder about its capabilities. Will the touch pads be useful? Will the 3G features be used in traditional games as well as iPhone-like apps? Will we finally see an HD Super Monkey Ball title?
All this speculation may seem important now, but make no mistake! The only questions that matter to the future of this handheld console are the same sort that get tech geeks all hot and bothered. Yes, I'm talking about the kinds of questions that can be answered with "SGX543MP4+" and "ARM CortexTM-A9."
These match up, respectively, with the questions, "What's the NGP's Graphics Processor?" and "How about the CPU?" The rest of the stats sheet can be found after the jump below, but these two are of particular note, so let's get geeky with them.
Firstly, the GPU - SGX543MP4+ is a new part of the PowerVR Series5 family of chipsets, whose brand has also been used to power graphics on the iPhone 4, iPad, and a whole host of Intel-based netbooks. The particular processor in the NGP is of a newer set: Series5XT, which so far has only been announced for Sony's NGP and one other device. The SGX543 range can have between one and sixteen cores in its repertoire, but the one powering the NGP will be chugging four at once.
On the processor side, that quad-core concept becomes a little more ridiculous. Did you know that, even among enthusiast PC gamers, quad-CPU systems have seen only about a 28% adoption rate? Having four little computer brains inside your dual-touchscreen, dual-camera, dual-analog handheld suddenly turns it from a shuffled deck of gimmicks into a powerhouse worthy of any graphics-whore's hard earned dollars. It's also worth noting that the ARM CortexTM-A9 is currently being considered to power the next generation of Android phones and cameras.
So hopefully some of this digging adds perspective to the numbers that live on the stats sheet below--even if you're not the type who perks up about polygons/second, there will still be a lot to love in the next PSP . The only worrisome note is that Sony is planning for their new handheld to be both profitable and affordable. 'Profitable' meaning they may not want to eat any of the system's cost in order to get an install base, as do most manufacturers. Guess we'll have to wait and see if Sony wants us to get that second job to afford one!
ARM CortexTM-A9 core (4 core)
Approx. 182.0 x 18.6 x 83.5mm (width x height x depth) (tentative, excludes largest projection)
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
Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer), Three-axis electronic compass
Wi-Fi location service support
Keys / Switches
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 (+/-)
Mobile network connectivity (3G)
IEEE 802.11b/g/n (n = 1x1)(Wi-Fi) (Infrastructure mode/Ad-hoc mode)
Bluetooth 2.1+EDR ?A2DP/AVRCP/HSP?