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SCE CEO Shares NGP Details

No video out. Wi-Fi only versions under consideration. System uses original OS.

Sony's new portable system, codenamed NGP.

Impress Watch has posted a summary of a roundtable interview conducted with Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kaz Hirai. In the post PlayStation Meeting 2011 interview session, Hirai shared lots of new details on Sony's new NGP portable gaming system.

One of the major points from the interview is that Hirai acknowledged that there are plans for multiple versions of the hardware, including Wi-Fi only versions and 3G + Wi-Fi versions. Such hardware developments will be made on a region-by-region basis, he said.

Regarding 3G, Hirai said that Sony is currently in discussions with different carriers in the various territories about such things as rate plans and fees. They will announce specifics when available.

3G through NGP will not allow for phone use. Hirai said that it would be "nonsense" to use a device of this shape as a phone. Because it would require a headset or changes to form factor, they left out any such phone functionality.

The interview touched upon a number of other topics outside of 3G.

Hirai said that price and battery time information cannot be revealed at present because the system is still in the prototype phases. He said Sony is aiming for levels that will be well received by customers.

As announced at PlayStation meeting, the NGP is compatible with PSP software. PSP titles will run completely through emulation, said Hirai.

Of course, you'll only be able to use downloadable versions of PSP games. Sony is currently in negotiations to get software makers to actively release download versions of their games.

Those who already have downloadable PSP titles on their PSP system will be able to redownload them to NGP, assuming you're still within the download number limits imposed by PSN.

Internally, NGP uses an original games-oriented operating system, revealed Hirai. It's not Android. Different from the PSP, the OS has a modern framework akin to a PC.

Package PSP games will ship on a custom memory card format. This is basically a ROM, but it has rewritable space which can be used for save data and download data. Hirai said to think of it as similar to the memory cards used by the Nintendo DS.

NGP will also support general memory cards, a Sony representative told Impress. Specific formats were not mentioned. The site did not make clear what "support" means.

Separate from the Hirai interview, the Impress Watch story says that the NGP in its current form will not support video output. The site was told this by a Sony representative.

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