Rumor: Sony Downgrading NGP Tech to Compete with 3DS Pricing

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Rumor: Sony Downgrading NGP Tech to Compete with 3DS Pricing

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The NGP's memory is supposedly taking a hit, and the internal storage is going the way of the dodo.

Sony is reportedly planning to downgrade some of the technology in its new handheld platform,in order to give it a more completive price point. French technology website 01net suggests that Sony plans to position the cheaper, non-3G model as a direct competitor to Nintendo's 3DS.

According to sources, Sony plans to cut the amount of memory the device has in half. The main system RAM and video RAM will be chopped down from 512 MB and 256 MB respectively, to 256 MB and 128 MB. Sony is also apparently planning to axe the 16 GB of internal memory the NGP was originally meant to have. In its place, Sony will use an external storage system, not entirely dissimilar to the memory cards the PS1 and PS2 used, or the memory stick solution the PSP used.

01net doesn't think that these revisions will be too detrimental to the device however, provided that developers properly optimize their memory management - something that the device's graphics chip is supposedly rather good at - and that the data transfer between the NGP and the external storage is quick. Sony is also apparently reducing how much memory the NGP's operating system uses in order to free up more systems resources.

Assuming that the rumors are true - and 01net has a good record when it comes to Sony tech - then we can expect at least one of the NGP models to be around the $250 mark. The 3G capable model will cost more, Sony has already admitted as much, but exactly how much more is a mystery.

Source: via 1up

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So will the 3G model still have the original amount of RAM and internal memory?

Haven't hardware developers learned by now that cutting the RAM supply handicaps game developers? This is one area you should not be skimping in this day and age.

Axing the internal storage wouldn't bother me as long as they get smart and use SD, mini SD, or micro SD for the storage this time instead of the expensive and hard to find Memory Stick format. I can't help but think they should leave the RAM alone, though.

All rumors of course, though.

I... really didn't see this coming. I figured Sony would launch the thing at a daft price point, spend about a year saying it was the most value for money handheld gaming experience, then quietly reduce the price after disappointing sales.

But this is actually good to see. Sure, it might not be quite as powerful as it could have been, but perhaps it will allow it into more hands.

I don't care as long as the games are good.

With a lower price point, it will naturally have better third party support.

If it doesn't badly impact the games, I'm fine with it. It's not like I'll be able to afford it if it's super advanced and therefore mega-expensive anyway. I just want that Resistance game to be good. I don't have as much trust in Nihilistic as I did in Sony Bend.

Brilliant idea.

Let's downgrade our system to reduce the price so it'll sell more, instead of trying to improve the system and make it the better value.

As long as I can finally finish crisis core on it...

Grumble *bloomin' PSP breaking when I've only got 2 boss fights left* grumble

SomethingAmazing:
I don't care as long as the games are good.

With a lower price point, it will naturally have better third party support.

This is something I hope for. Im not completely sold on the cutting of the RAM, but cutting the internal HD doesnt bother me in the bit; I dont see any problem with a memory card. And if its all for $250, im sold...

And Thank fucking God there is two tumbs sticks!

rosac:
As long as I can finally finish crisis core on it...

Grumble *bloomin' PSP breaking when I've only got 2 boss fights left* grumble

Dude, that is SUCH a bummer.
But I don't think the NGP is gonna have UMD games...will it? I dunno, it's just something I heard before.

Cutting memory sucks...but for the sake of a lower price? Eh, I guess.

What happened to the obnoxiously overconfident big-headed Sony we all know and loath?
The Sony I know would've just made it drastically overpriced and demand that we buy it if we knew what was good for us.

The RAM halved, and all the memory axed... whoa! isn't it abit late for that now, They've already unveiled it and everything. Shouldn't thay have thought about this when they were still developing it.

GonzoGamer:
What happened to the obnoxiously overconfident big-headed Sony we all know and loath?

The Hackers man, Sony has lost a shit ton of money to them. Now they need make that up by selling as many units (or more) than 3DS, It's the only valid reason I can come up with.

Sony's trying to recoup sales and consumer interest in the light of the recent catastrophe. Night a bad move, but they could have come up with a smarter way of doing it.

This is still being made? Huh. I am surprised, actually. I had kinda thought, what with everything that's gone on, and how the next generation of the DS is just about to start taking off, by most expectations, that...well, alright, guess we'll see how this one plays out. Good luck, Sony.

koroem:
Haven't hardware developers learned by now that cutting the RAM supply handicaps game developers? This is one area you should not be skimping in this day and age.

Looking back, it's kind of hilarious how MS tried to stick 256MB of memory into the XBox360 before Epic forced them to do otherwise.

Ha ha!

It's okay
We can still "make believe" it's worth our money.

256mb of ram on any modern gaming platform, handheld or otherwise, is a complete f'ing joke.

Even my smartphone has more RAM than that, and all it does is play Angry Birds.

Seriously Sony? Half the point of this new PSP was the pure hardware power.

Also no internal memory? Way to set the bar back by a decade.

I guess this is what happens when you blow loads of money recovering from a massive hacker attack :/

Then next winter they'll add it back in and then in two years higher end games will no longer work on this revision.

beema:
256mb of ram on any modern gaming platform, handheld or otherwise, is a complete f'ing joke.

Seriously Sony? Half the point of this new PSP was the pure hardware power.

I guess this is what happens when you blow loads of money recovering from a massive hacker attack :/

Honestly it's not really their fault. I'm left feeling bad for Sony because the NGP was supposed to be big for them, but now they can't even afford to make it.

The thing is, I don't really know what I would do in this situation. For one thing, I would like to say just wait until they get their money back to start working on the NGP, because then they wouldn't have to cut all the power behind it, but then again the NGP could actually end up making them a lot of money...

And they couldn't just take a hit and release that handheld with all the original specs because...?

I understand that they have to do this, but I don't think it's gonna do anyone any favors. The memory is not even that big of a deal, I can just get a memory card that has a ton of space, but the RAM? I don't know, I will still be getting it despite what they are doing to it.

As long as that handheld can have some amazing games on it and the developers can create those games, then I'm happy.

Oh, and maybe they can axe the name NGP while they are at it, I know it's only temporary, but it just reminds me of a bad rap song.

Hey, for everyone who cannot use Google Translate, here is the translated text of the source:

http://www.01net.com/editorial/533663/la-ngp-sortira-en-2011-moins-puissante-et-moins-chere-que-prevu/

NGP released in 2011, less powerful and less expensive than expected

To ensure a most affordable price for its new handheld console, Sony has revised its configuration slightly downward and confirmed a Japanese release this year.

Lately, rumors gave the impression that Sony could find itself unable to market its new handheld console by the end of 2011, partly because of the tsunami on 11 March.

Storming (sic - Assault on?) the 3DS
However finally there: NPM released in Japan this December, just in time to enjoy the Christmas period. As usual, the West will settle for an outlet for now loosely scheduled for the first quarter of 2012. Sony has also advised developers that the console would be sold at "very reasonable" , a comment could not be more vague ... which still leaves assume that the manufacturer intends to make a competitive offer.

NPM intends to attack it by Christmas 3DS its flowerbeds tariff? An assumption which, according to our sources, could be imagined. The console will come out well in both versions and can therefore be expected that the cheapest (probably without 3G) is positioned as a direct competitor of 3DS.

Some compromise
Sony has apparently decided to play hard on the price war is not surprising that some features have been downgraded. This applies, in particular, the RAM and the VRAM (video), which were reduced by half since the first drafts presented to developers. NPM will therefore include 256 MB of RAM and 128 MB of VRAM in quick access to the PowerVR. If this decision creates a small frustration in the developer community, its consequences should be very limited.
The size of the operating system should be reduced (compared, for example, the iPhone), releasing the size of RAM for basic tasks. In addition to the 256 MB of RAM "classic", programmers can also use 26 MB of RAM continue, for routines that require quick access and can not be stored in a fragmented form. If memory management is optimized, the downward revision of the RAM should not be too detrimental, especially if access (bus) to the external flash card is fast enough.
As to the VRAM, with "only" 128 MB, it raises a few tricks, but no serious concern among developers. The PowerVR being particularly effective in terms of memory management and compression of textures, the impact on graphic quality securities should again be minimal.

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Store owner (sic - Proprietary Storage?)
Another notable change: the disappearance of the 16 GB of embedded flash memory initially planned. The slot for SD card the first development kits gives way to a new version designed to accommodate the external memory, probably a solution close to the SD architecture, but including technology and security options owners. Initially at least, it will then move by Sony to buy its external memory.
This is strongly reminiscent of the policy has always been the mark with its memory cards on PS1 and PS2 mostly (Magicgate).

In the starting blocks
The developers are working hard to develop the first games console, aided by a development environment of unprecedented quality for a Sony machine. Our sources among developers welcome the manufacturer for the number and quality of its tools, its examples of routines and libraries, and especially for its multi-platform engine (PC/PS3/NGP) already fully functional.
They always complain that the quad-core processor, only three are accessible to programmers, the fourth being reserved for the kernel and other ancillary functions (security ...). However, they welcomed the Out-of-order speculative processor ARM, which can take the "initiative" to perform calculations in anticipation of the instructions provided by the code and is therefore particularly effective despite its low energy consumption.
All the definitive characteristics, as well as the entirety of the launch titles will be clearly revealed by Sony at the upcoming E3.

My French is very basic but I have made a few edits for where I think the machine translation has gone wrong.

Lots of interesting stuff here.

I'm not too worried about this.

I'm more worried about the device's nonexistent launch line-up - not a single game has been confirmed. If they want the thing to sell better than the 3DS right off the bat, they're going to have to make sure that some good games are available at launch.

People legitimately think that this change is due to hackers? There are tons of reasons for Sony to try to compete with Nintendo's price point, and its not because "they can't afford to make it". We're talking about a company whose total assets measure over 10 trillion dollars. Yes, it hurts the company badly to take a loss like they did this year, but big companies like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have to make lots of mistakes like this before it kills their company.

Sony is likely just learning a lesson from their previous two console launches (the PS3 and the PSP), that the "better hardware, but twice as expensive" approach isn't always going to sell well. Someone likely considers getting the price point down to be a "safer" bet, or it'll probably just return more profit out the gate, because nobody at Sony wants to be the one to make the next accident.

Now, to be more objective to the topic at hand- none of any of this will matter if Sony can't get some good titles for their console. Third party and developer support is key to having this be a worthwhile console. The lack of internal HD on this device isn't crippling, but they need to make sure that whatever storage they add to the device is easy. If they go with the Duo sticks again, it'll be utterly disappointing. As for the lack of Ram and Vram...well, it might be a bit limiting, but games on handheld consoles aren't always about the graphics. Some of the simplest games have sold best on handhelds. Its all about what comes out on it.

Marudas:
People legitimately think that this change is due to hackers? There are tons of reasons for Sony to try to compete with Nintendo's price point, and its not because "they can't afford to make it". We're talking about a company whose total assets measure over 10 trillion dollars. Yes, it hurts the company badly to take a loss like they did this year, but big companies like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have to make lots of mistakes like this before it kills their company.

Sony is likely just learning a lesson from their previous two console launches (the PS3 and the PSP), that the "better hardware, but twice as expensive" approach isn't always going to sell well. Someone likely considers getting the price point down to be a "safer" bet, or it'll probably just return more profit out the gate, because nobody at Sony wants to be the one to make the next accident.

Now, to be more objective to the topic at hand- none of any of this will matter if Sony can't get some good titles for their console. Third party and developer support is key to having this be a worthwhile console. The lack of internal HD on this device isn't crippling, but they need to make sure that whatever storage they add to the device is easy. If they go with the Duo sticks again, it'll be utterly disappointing. As for the lack of Ram and Vram...well, it might be a bit limiting, but games on handheld consoles aren't always about the graphics. Some of the simplest games have sold best on handhelds. Its all about what comes out on it.

It's also pretty reasonable considering the PS3 console STILL only has 256mb of System memory, it would be excessive for the NGP to have TWICE as much.

It seems the initial idea of 512MB of system RAM was just "keeping up with the joneses" against Apple, all their latest iteration of hardware have had 512MB of system memory. In fact Apple owns a ridiculous amount of the market that makes flash memory, they can buy the stuff at bargain rate.

Honestly, Sony would be wise not to get into the memory race with Apple. They would have a hard time prevailing.

They need to focus on being a VERY GOOD and stable gaming platform, as the iPad and iPhones the goalposts are moved so often and the user base are never all on one hardware specification yet are not tech-savy enough for variable settings.

The greatest appeal of NGP are those dual analogue-sticks, they have led a revolution in gaming since they became popular in the early 2000's (really first appeared on PS1 in 1998) it allows for such great gamign opportunities that Apple will always stuggle with as ideologically they are obsessed with the simple soldi-state interface. No buttons, no joysticks. That is their weakness because gamers LOVE buttons and joysticks.

Mahorfeus:
I'm not too worried about this.

I'm more worried about the device's nonexistent launch line-up - not a single game has been confirmed. If they want the thing to sell better than the 3DS right off the bat, they're going to have to make sure that some good games are available at launch.

Well, for first party they've got Uncharted and Wipeout. Like that?

Paragon Fury:
Brilliant idea.

Let's downgrade our system to reduce the price so it'll sell more, instead of trying to improve the system and make it the better value.

so remind me of the ps3 . We will make it cheaper but we will cut backwards compatibility (because people said it doesn't need it ).

ProfessorLayton:

Honestly it's not really their fault. I'm left feeling bad for Sony because the NGP was supposed to be big for them, but now they can't even afford to make it.

The thing is, I don't really know what I would do in this situation. For one thing, I would like to say just wait until they get their money back to start working on the NGP, because then they wouldn't have to cut all the power behind it, but then again the NGP could actually end up making them a lot of money...

I think they're seriously screwing the pooch here. Sure, they will take a big hit on the front-end investment, but I think it would really pay off in the end, and make them a lot of profit. Instead they are hedging their bets and releasing an inferior potentially lame duck product, which wont bring them as much recognition or sales (or who knows, it still might, but these specs are really f'ing depressing).

OutrageousEmu:

Mahorfeus:
I'm not too worried about this.

I'm more worried about the device's nonexistent launch line-up - not a single game has been confirmed. If they want the thing to sell better than the 3DS right off the bat, they're going to have to make sure that some good games are available at launch.

Well, for first party they've got Uncharted and Wipeout. Like that?

Neither of which are confirmed for launch. I'd call them the Zelda and Starfox 3DS of the NGP. Heck, the device itself doesn't even have a release date, though that is understandable considering the circumstances.

Mahorfeus:

OutrageousEmu:

Mahorfeus:
I'm not too worried about this.

I'm more worried about the device's nonexistent launch line-up - not a single game has been confirmed. If they want the thing to sell better than the 3DS right off the bat, they're going to have to make sure that some good games are available at launch.

Well, for first party they've got Uncharted and Wipeout. Like that?

Neither of which are confirmed for launch. I'd call them the Zelda and Starfox 3DS of the NGP. Heck, the device itself doesn't even have a release date, though that is understandable considering the circumstances.

So if it doesn't have a release date, why do you think it would have the launch titles laid out now? Think for a minute - its two weeks to E3, in which will be the first time we see the bulk of the NGP's titles. Why would we know its launch titles now?

Let's hope this stays a rumor. I'm willing to pay more for it than the whole 3D nonsense.

beema:

ProfessorLayton:

Honestly it's not really their fault. I'm left feeling bad for Sony because the NGP was supposed to be big for them, but now they can't even afford to make it.

The thing is, I don't really know what I would do in this situation. For one thing, I would like to say just wait until they get their money back to start working on the NGP, because then they wouldn't have to cut all the power behind it, but then again the NGP could actually end up making them a lot of money...

I think they're seriously screwing the pooch here. Sure, they will take a big hit on the front-end investment, but I think it would really pay off in the end, and make them a lot of profit. Instead they are hedging their bets and releasing an inferior potentially lame duck product, which wont bring them as much recognition or sales (or who knows, it still might, but these specs are really f'ing depressing).

Hey, power isn't everything.

Even with 256mb it is as powerful as the PS3 in terms of memory. As powerful AS A PS3!!!

Look at the Nintendo DS, dominated to spite having processing power a whole order of magnitude lower than the PSP, but what it DID have going for it? controls.

DS not only had the touch-screen it had a far superior D-pad. The PSP d-pad looks good but feels like crap. You cannot do diagonal directions, you just can't. DS can.

Now is Sony's chance, and I think they have the right idea TWIN ANALOGUE STICKS! Not "nubs" actual sticks, that is HUGE, every FPS game that is either being made for or ported to handhelds the NGP is going to get top billing. CoD in your pocket! Think about that.

That's down to controls.

Handhelds have NEVER been won on horsepower, they have been won on usability.

...So the thing that made this superior to the 3DS... is gone? You cant compete in the same market as the 3DS Sony, thats stupid, anyone in the world could tell you thats stupid. Nintendo caters to certain fans, you cater to another group. Please that other group, because Nintendo already owns the the former.

Well, considering that people are already railing against Nintendo for making the 3DS more expensive despite it having greater graphical capabilities, they probably think that they won't fare too well in that environment.

edit: yeah, the second stick will probably make the difference

ninja51:
...So the thing that made this superior to the 3DS... is gone? You cant compete in the same market as the 3DS Sony, thats stupid, anyone in the world could tell you thats stupid. Nintendo caters to certain fans, you cater to another group. Please that other group, because Nintendo already owns the the former.

Oh sorry, now it is only AS CAPABLE as the Playstation 3, therefore it has lost ALL advantage over the 3DS.

Bollocks.

NGP was foolish to ever initially aim for such high system RAM, double what the PS3 has right now.

The NGP still has well over 4x the CPU power, 2x the system RAM and utterly incomparable graphics dominance over the Nintendo 3DS and a far better sized screen not to mention the dual analogue stick controls.

Jee-sus. This is who companies are so afraid to back down even in the most moderate way as uninformed punters loudly assume they are sacrificing EVERYTHING and crippling it to some Dreamcast quality device.

You are entitled to you opinion but do not act like yours is an informed opinion.

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