Sony held a private event focusing on the NGP for UK developers late last week. During the meeting Sony not only provided more details about the device itself, but also outlined its expected marketing plan for the NGP's first five years according to attendees. Sony said they expected to focus on the core during the NGP's first year, shift to the hardcore and teens for year two, and then expand the audience to younger and older demographics following that.
Other big news coming out of the event was the supposed ease of cross PS3-NGP development. Little Deviants was demoed along with NGP versions of Uncharted and WipEout HD. Reports are the version of WipEout HD shown was running on the game's PS3 engine without any changes to art platform, which means it was running at 60 frames-per-second and included all of the shader effects found in the PS3 version of the game.
In addition to showing these games, reports from the event state Sony wants developers to create titles that would work on both the PS3 and NGP while not creating the exact same game for both consoles. Simply put, there must be a reason for the NGP version of the game and there should be interactivity between the two versions, along with NGP-only exclusives. Reportedly, Sony also stated they had made the game submission process simpler, with only a single submission required for either system.
And while some UK developers have had some form of a NGP development kit for some time already, no new development kits were given out during the meeting. Apparently, no new kits were given out because of late shipments from Japan. But once those shipments arrive getting one won't be a given. Reports coming out of the conference claim that in order for a studio to be given a NGP development kit before April they must submit a 20-page concept document on a game the studio would want to release at launch. Creating that document, however, is likely time well spent for studios wanting to work on the NGP as the new development kits are rumored to be the first kits with the final GPU included.
While no price or specific release date was given at the event, and the rumored cloud saving system was not specifically addressed, developers in attendance were apparently very impressed with the device itself, its ease of development, and the development kits themselves. It might be too early to make any conclusions regarding the 3DS or the NGP, but the buzz on both next-gen handhelds seems very positive.
What are your thoughts on the NGP? Do games that work on both the PS3 and NGP appeal to you? Are you excited about the possibility of playing a game on one system and picking it up and continuing it on the other? How much of the rumored potential and features do you think Sony will actual deliver on with the NGP? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Sony hopes to launch the NGP in at least some territories sometime in 2011.