The announcement event for Sony's new hand-held console, the NGP, also unveiled some of the early software for the device that'll keep us clicking, tapping and playing our way through the holiday of 2011.
At today’s unveiling, Sony demonstrated just a few actual NGP games. Recognizable franchises heading for the new platform include LittleBigPlanet, Uncharted, Killzone, Resistance, Hot Shots Golf and WipEout. New titles include Little Deviants, Broken, Reality Fighters and Gravity Daze. Little was actually shown of these titles, however, although word of a super-secret Uncharted demo had gamers excited with the promies of near-PS3 visuals and a touchpad-slash-gyro-controlled Nathan Drake!
Having a 3G and/or WiFi connection, the NGP is very much a networked device, so Sony was also keen on showcasing the device’s user interface and location-based services, as well.
Every NGP game will support a networked space called LiveArea which will allow players to interact with each other in various ways. Users will not only be able to access the latest news from developers, but can also view a steam of game activity information from players of that particular title. From there, users will be able to communicate with each other and hopefully jump into games together. LiveArea will act as the NGP's user-interface, facilitating the managment of trophies, the PSN Store, friend-to-friend messaging, etc.
Sony has also developed Near, a location-based service designed to allow users to discover which titles nearby NGP gamers are currently playing or have played recently. Players are represented by their avatars on a crude map. Selecting an avatar will reveal information about that player, including what games they’ve played recently, and how skilled they are at those games. Near also collects regional information so that users may see which games are popular in specific locations. It all seems a little "Big Brother" to us, but in a live environment filled with NGP gamers, it could be an incredibly useful social tool.
More on the console as information rolls out, but read up on our coverage of all the features and tech behind the device.