Sony claims PS3 games will run on NGP without graphical changes
But NGP versions should come with extra features
The launch of PlayStation Suite aside, a report by GamesIndustry.biz suggests Sony used a presentation to 20 UK developers to stress the importance of serving up cross-platform releases for NGP i.e. games that can be released simultaneously on PS3.
Marriage of convenience
It's an interesting move, if only because one of the early criticisms laid at the original PSP's door was how similar the handheld's line up was to PS2's.
The argument is consumers were offered little incentive to purchase the device, given most already owned vast portions of its library on its home console cousin.
The difference here is that Sony seems to believe that gamers will see NGP as a device that compliments PS3, rather than challenges it.
Rumours already suggest 'cloud saving' a feature that will allow players to switch between the same game on both platforms, their progress saved is likely to launch with NGP, while the firm is also keen that developers have a valid reason for working on a version of a PS3 release for the handheld.
It's suggested studios looking to get their hand on a development kit before April will have to deliver a 20 page document to Sony detailing the concept behind any launch game.
Any developers working on cross-platform releases will also be encouraged to add extras to the NGP's build, taking advantage of the handheld's unique specs.
Power of PlayStation
Those lucky enough to be familiar with the platform (some of the bigger UK studios rumoured to have had some sort of access to NGP tech for almost a year now) have much to work with, too, with Sony stating PS3 games will run on NGP without any graphical changes.
That would make Sony's new handheld an especially powerful piece of kit as already detailed by its specs and, despite the addition of a touchscreen and a revamped digital marketplace, make it a markedly different proposition to iPhone and Android for both developers and consumers.
It's unlikely NGP will appeal to smaller studios and more than PSP did, for instance, given the likely cost of developing on such hardware even if doing so opens up the possibility of porting to PS3 at the same time.
Whether such a distinction is wise or, as some claim, taking the smartphone market on head on would be a more canny move naturally won't become clear until launch, with NGP due out in the latter months of 2011.