Sony Admits Mistakes in PlayStation 3 Design Decisions, Confirms Feature-Cut for NGP

Sony Reduced Features of NGP to Keep Console Affordable Enough

by Anton Shilov
02/16/2011 | 01:19 PM

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. has admitted that a number of design decisions related to the PlayStation 3 game console were a mistake that disproportionally made the console more expensive. As a result, when developing the next-generation portable (NGP), the company had to cut certain features in order to ensure its affordability.


"I cannot talk about a definitive price at this stage. But since the very beginning we had a target in mind. So, when considering various features, we always had our price range in mind. There were elements that we found pretty cool, but had to set aside to remain on target. It is a big lesson we learnt from the PS3. There is no point putting everything you want into a device and doing the math later. We always had the price and consumer in mind. We had to sell something that people could buy," explained Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony Computer Entertainment worldwide studios, in an interview with Edge Magazine (which was quoted by CVG). 

Sony released PlayStation 3 at $499 and $599 portfolio and while it had integrated Blu-ray disc, Wi-Fi and other technologies not available on competing Xbox 360 and Wii, people still found it too expensive. As a result, sales of the PS3 were slow and only in the recent quarters the company managed to approach Xbox 360 in life-to-date sales. Slow start essentially undermined Sony PlayStation 3's ability to quickly gain market share through positive buzz of many first adopters. As a result, the device is still behind Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii.

With the successor for the PlayStation Portable, the code-named NGP handheld console Sony decided to take a different approach and not integrate breakthrough, but expensive technologies, so that not to slowdown the device on the start. Nonetheless, specifications of NGP are impressive.

Sony NGP is based on a system-on-chip with four ARM Cortex-A9 cores, PowerVR SGX543MP4+ graphics engine and a memory controller. The new portable game console has 5" multi-touch OLED screen with 960x544 resolution, typical set of PSP buttons, two cameras (front and rear), Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, GPS, six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer), three-axis electronic compass, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR controller, integrated speakers and microphone as well as multi touchpad located on the back side of the system. For the first time, a portable entertainment system will feature two analog sticks, which enable a wider range of game genres to be brought into the portable experience.

While the executive declined to reveal the pricing of the NGP, he indicated that it would be more expensive than the current cost of PSP.