NGP Spec “Nothing Special” “Nowhere Near PS3”


The supposed “PS3 level” power of Sony’s newly announced NGP is being called into question, with technical analysis of its capabilities suggesting it is not nearly as impressive as it is hyped to be, and that it is already in imminent danger of being eclipsed by smartphones and tablets using the very same chipset it employs.

The commentary in question, from a long and quite technical analysis of the NGP announcement:

Will the NGP’s lifespan be a long one?

Put simply, the NGP’s looks feature packed and very powerful, more than enough to meet the challenge of other handhelds and smartphones. SCE appears to be investing a lot in the NGP from the start, in order to put up a good fight.

However, if we look past the hype, the capabilities of the NGP are not actually all that good. Of course, there is no way it approaches those of the PS3 either.

One major issue is that the combo of ARM Cortex-A CPU + PowerVR SGX GPU is already becoming a popular choice in smartphones and tablets. In other words, the NGP’s performance is directly comparable to those of smartphones and tablets.

This time, SCE could simply not afford the cost of developing its own CPU and GPU combo, and had to bring in a pre-existing architecture.

As a result, just looking at the chipset used shows that the uniqueness of its capabilities has been severely compromised, exposing it to comparison with similar chips.

Other devices using similar chipsets will quickly overtake it – the progress of other mobile devices is just so rapid.

[The article goes on to present some technical analysis of the NGP’s CPU and GPU, suggesting the NGP may become obsolete very quickly:]



The yearly updates of smartphones and tablets probably doom a static specification like that of the NGP to obsolescence within a few short years, leaving the hardware to compete solely on the quality of its controller, or in the case of the 3DS, its gimmicky display – time will tell whether this proves sufficient.

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    Avatar of Censored_Vagina
    Comment by Censored_Vagina
    01:12 31/01/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Developers for NGP will be working with much lower-level APIs than cellphones and won't be burdened by iOS or Android sitting there at all times. So even a phone with identical specs, of which there are none yet, wouldn't be capable of the same performance.

    If we're being honest though, the design of this thing really would seem to indicate that the device is a kneejerk reaction to 3DS. Picking really common parts means the quickest possible turnaround. Cell phone companies can do it in a year, or less, but they don't have to worry about software.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:04 31/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Really common parts means lower costs. Custom stuff comes at a premium, and that royally burned them with the ps3.

    By using more standard stuff they also greatly ease development: anyone who can make a smartphone game could make something for the NGP, which combined with the PS Suite, means instant access to a huge amount of casual games.

    Avatar of Stb
    Comment by Stb
    08:12 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    That! ^^^^^^^

    I actually like the fact os ony choosing the standardized is that chip making future android game possible or even bring-able to the NGP, it is a win win situation for sony anyway, so what is the point of calling it anything but interesting or amazing?

    The idea behind this choice is brilliant.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:31 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    While that is generally the case, it really depends on the cost of each part's components. Some custom hardware is actually cheaper to manufacture than off-the-shelf components, but due to the absurdly huge number of products being developed with ARM processors, it isn't likely that they could come up with one in the short term.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:12 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    But it is also pretty bad for security. Sony's custom solution for the PS3 used security by obscurity, and now they can't even do that with the NGP. It will have a common architecture so it will be hacked quicker.

    Avatar of Misakite
    Comment by Misakite
    00:03 01/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The latest consoles just seem to be ripping ideas off each other now.

    Someone should just seriously invent the Virtual Reality headsets from .hack.
    It's a handheld gaming device, can log on to the internet, and can cause a state of lack of awareness of one's surroundings. It's perfect!

    Avatar of SpideyPHL
    Comment by SpideyPHL
    00:51 31/01/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    What's the issue? This is the same as consoles versus PCs, and as I'm sure you've noticed, PC isn't a juggernaut that consoles have to completely avoid nowadays. The wide variety of setups caused by this very issue is the reason why it will be easiest for developers to use the static NGP as opposed to an ever changing field of phones--especially when consumers are basically expected to updated their phones every 2 years. It's working ok now because smartphone games are still very cheap to develop (they're mostly just flash games anyway). When the standards rise though, developers will benefit from a standard architecture that maximizes the install base.

    Avatar of Hakufu
    Comment by Hakufu
    12:19 31/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    PC is a juggernaut but it's not receiving a lot of press because of the simple fact that the consoles have huge marketing campaigns behind them.

    Which would you rather choose from a marketing perspective? A brand new shiny console where a company says it has extreme longevity and no hacks(changed now but you get the point.) or a "dieing system". The dieing system is just so mindless idiots that can't do a bit of research will say ooh I don't wanna invest in a system that isn't gonna be around for long. So they buy the console.

    The fact of the matter is the PC is still a juggernaut and is still making a crap ton of money annually. But good marketing spins that into a "dieing system". Plus the PC doesn't exactly have a company behind it to market for it. PC's are anyone's platform, where as the consoles are closed and have one huge company behind them doing the marketing plus several smaller entities. The PC doesn't have that hence why it's so easy to pass off utter bullshit as fact. Also from a business perspective it's hard to make money from the PC as the PC market just expects more. PC gamers set the bar higher, so anything below that bar makes hardly any sales. Couple that with no one company getting a huge stream of revenue as they don't "own" or "manufacturer" the system and you have a marketing catastrophe. Which is why the consoles are so big.

    Avatar of Sylar
    Comment by Sylar
    22:06 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Basically big companies hate the PC because they can't control it and it's users as they like.(for example making you pay playing on the Internet on their private networks).
    PC mean freedom and more rights for the consumer and they hate that.
    That's why they play the marketing trick against the PC and promoting the consoles so much.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:29 31/01/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Isnt every hardware obsolete after a few years these days -_-
    Whats the point of this post.
    same for pc and gfx card, every 6 months a new powerful model gets released.
    Gfx isnt everything, look at ds. looks like crap still sells very well. if they use the system well it will be successfull.

    Avatar of Ryan Saotome
    Comment by Ryan Saotome
    03:18 31/01/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    The point of this post is to rile people up, like almost every other post on Sankaku about the 3ds and NGP

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:29 31/01/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Shhhh you're telling all our secrets......

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:44 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    damn right XD

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:21 01/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Of course, it's actually kind of true. Sony's been touting the 'PS3 level' graphics of the NGP, but all shots of it in action so far look closer to the PS2's visuals. 3DS games don't really look all that different, but have the advantage of a 3D screen to help them stand out. I'm sure the NGP will be capable of more detailed graphics than the 3DS, but it's not really as much of a difference as it was between the original PSP and DS.

    As for smartphones and tablets, I somehow doubt they'll 'eclipse' dedicated gaming hardware among gamers, unless they start offering proper dedicated controls. Even then, it would be hard to market them without support and exclusives from a company like Nintendo or Sony.

    Avatar of Riiku
    Comment by Riiku
    03:53 31/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    You know what will make this? Exclusives.

    The only reason I bought PSP is exclusives. And that is the only reason I'll buy PSP2 (fuck NGP, that's a stupid name).

    Avatar of Orb
    Comment by Orb
    06:26 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    True. It's the games for the console that make people buy the console.

    Avatar of Mr.Demon
    Comment by Mr.Demon
    05:39 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Yeah... sometimes I think that this site must be called SankakuTrolling instead of Sankakucomplex...

    All here we know that the next year will be a newest and powerful hardware than this... but those smartphones don't last even a year on the market, except for the IOS plataform, there it's not a solid plataform like handhled console... Those are two diferent markets..


    Comment by Dark Mage
    07:12 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    So an extent but Moore's law in desktops is nothing like it was back in the 90s.
    Going from Core2 to i7 was not as huge a leap as 486 to Pentium or 68040 to PPC601 was.
    But Moore's law is still very much alive and well in portable devices because the very architecture can be reinvented on them if needed to gain performance as they don't need to care about being able to run old software.
    The Arm architecture already soundly beats X86 in Gflops per watt by a wide margin.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:03 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Moores law is about complexity and cost, not performance. It still holds true it just is far less visible as overall performance on a per app basis plateaus for the average user. Where as a CPU upgrade back then meant a huge boost in performance for your day to day computing now it ends up being about how fast your machine does a few very specific computationally intensive tasks or its total performance as a multitasking PC.

    Avatar of Hakufu
    Comment by Hakufu
    12:20 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Moore's law is still active in the PC market as well. It's not an incredible leap but it still is a pretty big leap each generation. But you can only do so much when the die is getting hard to innovate on. They need to invent a new way to manufacture or extend the die.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    16:29 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    X86 really needed to die about a decade ago.
    There are these things called X86 translation units on the die that do nothing more then translate X86 instructions to RISC or VLWI type low level instructions.
    They add a lot of complexity to designs which means more power used more die area wasted etc.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:19 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Exactly, it doesn't matter whether the graphics have been surpassed or not - what matters are the games. That's why apple aren't too threatening to Sony and Nintendo yet, because their games are only designed to be played in short bursts.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:42 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    This one will be old next year ...

    Comment by Anonymous

    Well what's the point of any sankaku post you may ask. to troll of course.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:46 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    duh this is sankaku.. home of trolls

    Comment by Anonymous

    The point is that the NGP has the same hardware as smartphones, which means that smartphones will be in direct competition with it. Games have been developed for smartphones for quite some time now. And since they are also phones, they would make owning an NGP redundant.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:12 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    You're delusional if you think those so called "games" on smart phones are comparable to a real game.

    The most you can do is play touchscreen games. Smart phones that have keypads are not ideal for gaming.

    Avatar of NotLogg
    Comment by NotLogg
    10:06 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I have a Galaxy S Phone. Its graphics ability is currently at the top for a Smart Phone, at least for another 4~6 months.

    But it doesn't have the graphics gaming ability of a PSP, much less the PSP2. And playing games on a controller-less phone kind of .... sucks. Some games are great or okay with a touch-screen phone.

    But putting your fingers over your game area or trying to get instant response is NOT happening with touch screens. Having real buttons, a standard OS and games is the point. Its not a phone, its a pure gaming system.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:46 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Dodonpachi Resurrection would like a word with you.

    Avatar of The Kiss
    Comment by The Kiss
    00:25 31/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Wasn't the PSP "obsolete" years ago and still managed to provide one of the best experiences (save for the single analog debacle)? It wasn't until recently that phones started matching the power of the PSP, and GoW seemed to have proven that that PSP still can duke it out with the best of them in the eyes of many.

    Specialized hardware like the NGP may likely not be that powerful considering the obvious, but that doesn't mean it won't be able to keep ahead of the game in terms of power campared to the smartphones which are just "jack-af-all-trades" devices.

    Even game devs have said it.

    Comment by Anonymous

    One of the best experiences? It's only in the past couple of years that decent games have started to come out for it - earlier on, it was sinking as fast as the titanic.
    A better example perhaps is the DS - even worse graphics than the psp, yet it still kicked ass in both hardware and software sales.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:51 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Weell, depends quite a bit on the OS and the way it runs programs as well.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:07 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Katsuragi Keima's PFP is what we need :D

    Avatar of obro
    Comment by obro
    00:21 31/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.3)

    well if it not so good then how come all those video game making companies said that it awesome?

    Avatar of obro
    Comment by obro
    00:22 31/01/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    oh also I would like to say that no mater how advanced a phone may become it still wont have 2 analog sticks

    Avatar of Shinji103
    Comment by Shinji103
    00:31 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (-0.3)

    Not to mention that game companies aren't going to make handheld RPGs like Final Fantasy or Tales of.... or any other hardcore games (non-hardcore being the little dinky games they already make for cell phones) for cell phones.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:52 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    i think spectral souls is pretty hardcore for a smartphone game...Strategy-RPG that is.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:03 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    in japan there are heaps of mobile phone rpgs so the argument is pretty null.

    Avatar of The Kiss
    Comment by The Kiss
    01:17 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    @Anon 01:03 I think he is referring to the flagship titles that require more of a dedicated machine to provide a sustainable and uninterrupted good experience. No one likes to be immersed in a game and wind up receiving a call in the middle of a crucial part. It was the main reasoning for people to complain about a "PSPhone" or even a "PSP with cellular capabilities".

    A phone, by virtue of being a multi-purpose device, is likely not to match up to the PSPs quality of gaming... at least not for the foreseeable future.

    Avatar of TehBoringOne
    Comment by TehBoringOne
    02:51 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    It is null if the consumers play more than just RPGs. So far, they have a technical demo of Uncharted. I doubt that games like that will appear in smartphones soon.

    Phones are good for many things, but the PSP and DS have the difference that they are designed and supported both by 1st and 3rd parties to do exactly that.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:42 31/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.7)

    They say it's awesome because they get paid for saying that?

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:15 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Because the article is judging it solely by it's hardware, and not the fact that as a hand held with a set spec, developers will be able to push that hardware to it's limits and really create some great stuff.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:59 31/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)


    This is like comparing a Snowmobile to a Motorcycle because they may have the same engine.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:58 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    ... this is really, really funny.
    Someone can remember me what was said by a lot of people about the 3DS and the iPhone?

    Comment by Anonymous

    It's because of its purpose in its lifespan. NGP purpose is gaming and only that and everything else revolved around that purpose. Smartphones etc are not built for gaming purpose but only have gaming capability.
    So even if the hardwares are the same there will be a definite differences when it comes to gaming.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:21 31/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    If I compare iphone(smartphone) with NGP, I prefer NGP games because I simply not used to the controllers on-screen while gaming. Good thing NGP is the only 'smartphone' which has double analog stick.

    If I compare to other handhelds, I prefer NGP simply because it's hardware capability better than other handheld. Even though it's 'bulky','last 3-5 hour', 'pay for 3g', or even 'same chip quality as other smartphones', I rather pay the price than to buy the cheap slow response of NDS touchscreen.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Becouse they need to talk that way if they want to make money !!!

    Avatar of Yuuki
    Comment by Wisteria Berlitz
    00:40 31/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.3)

    still gonna buy it(and probably 3DS too,after the NGP)

    Avatar of Yourtime
    Comment by Yourtime
    00:54 31/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    won't buy it if it has really subscriptions.

    Avatar of Mr.Demon
    Comment by Mr.Demon
    05:42 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    There is still the wi-fi option... so if you wanna you can create a Wi-fi network or find some arround... but if you wanna 3G you have to pay...

    There it's not Free 3G Internet!

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:23 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I have a EVO 4G getting 6-9 Mbps down on 4G, all I have to do is tether my 4G to my NGP.

    What's all this about a 3g option lol?

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:21 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I have an Evo 4G with free tethering well :3
    Sounds like I'll be choosing the Wifi version if that's all they remove.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:08 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    That would only be for the 3g version, which is understandable, as everything else 3g has it. Sony's also making a wifi only version, that i'm seeing being the more popular one.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:11 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    And even then, 3G subscriptions are optional, because the 3G-enabled model will also support Wi-Fi.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:06 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sony's been quite clear that they are making two SDK's.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:20 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    SKU, not SDK, derp.
    They'll all use the same SDK

    Avatar of TehBoringOne
    Comment by TehBoringOne
    02:54 31/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Where does it say there will be two versions?

    Comment by Anonymous

    you missed the last article or you pulling it out of your ass? Sony said no such thing lolz

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