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Carmack Says NGP Is a 'Generation Beyond' Smartphones

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the make-it-so dept.

Portables (Games) 190

donniebaseball23 writes "id co-founder and all-around programming genius John Carmack, who has become a bigger fan of the iPhone and iOS platform recently, has given his take on the technical aspects of Sony's Next Generation Portable. He says that 'the Sony NGP [will] perform about a generation beyond smart phones with comparable specs.' Essentially, the fast approaching round of iOS and Android devices will still be well behind the capabilities of Sony's new handheld, which comes close to reproducing PS3-like visuals." New details have emerged since the NGP's confirmation yesterday: there will be different versions of the device, all of which can connect over Wi-Fi, but only one of which has 3G connectivity. The battery life will be similar to the original PSP, and the NGP will have two proprietary memory card slots. Sony says they considered 3D for the device, but they don't see how it translates to portable gaming. 1up has a hands-on with the NGP, as well as video of Epic's Unreal Engine 3 tech demo.

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Which means... (3, Insightful)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030528)

"Carmack Says NGP Is a 'Generation Beyond' Smartphones"

Which means it probably has a price to match. Sadly.

Re:Which means... (1, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030572)

Not to worry - only for less than a year (if even that)

Re:Which means... (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031636)

Yes, pretty much. It's like slashdot's next generation interface: Completely bat-fuck broken (seriously, it doesn't work; I can't follow the "replies to your comments" links, they takes me to unrelated comments under the same article), but in 3 months they'll release a new, working version. Sony will release a 6 core handheld, and in 3 months phones will release a 3 core handheld but the cores will be ARMv12, twice the clock, and have dedicated coprocessors for graphics and physics that outperform Sony's.

Re:Which means... (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35032514)

Except slashdot hasbeen at it for 3 years and every new version is slower and runs worse than the previous version. I dontknow about any one else but it is almost unusable on my phone now. Comments take 10-30 seconds to load, articles disappear. The side bar randomly vanishes and the icons no longer scale.

Sony is at least doing something useful with that power. Slashdot seems to need a quadcore phone LTE to load easily.

Re:Which means... (2)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35032524)

Not to worry - only for less than a year (if even that)

Likely a lot less. These Android hardware specs were announced several months ago for up coming models. They are clearly running in parallel time tables. By the time the NGP is available, competing hardware with equal or superior specs will already be out for Android.

Only Apple is likely to be caught behind by this, but likely only one generational cycle at worst. So in the grand scheme, this is a complete non-news story.

Re:Which means... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35030654)

Which means it probably has a price to match.

And considering it's from Sony a policy to make it as unattractive as possible :D

Re:Which means... (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030948)

Someone clearly hasn't bought a smartphone.

Re:Which means... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35031148)

You must be thinking about "price with 2-year contract renewal" rather than MSRP.

Re:Which means... (2)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031272)

I think the closest match to this device now would be the iPod Touch in terms of pricing the NGP. You pay more for a phone just just because it is a phone. A 32 GB iPhone 4 is £612, the iPod Touch is £254. The other components in the iPhone (IPS screen, 3G radio and camera) do not add up enough to charge the extra £358, they charge more for a phone because it what the market will pay for the product. I don't think the market would pay £600 for the NGP.

The NGP may be generations ahead of smartphones now, but the current PSP hardware was released in 2004, 7 years ago. Smartphones will catchup in 2 years or so, do not forget that the NGP is just under 1 year away from being launched so smartphones will be closing in on specs.

Sony may start the NGP selling at a loss, with costs going down through the years, finally making a profit on each sale. Who knows, it could be £250-300 at launch. PSP launched at £179, with inflation and costs of materials increasing and exchange rates, £250 is a reasonable comparison to the PSP and NGP.

Re:Which means... (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031552)

Smart-phones will catch up in 6 months after it is released. Some of the things coming down the line from HTC will make it look like a outdated toy.

Re:Which means... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031904)

Yep. The major problem of consoles is that they stay static for ten years while everybody else follows Moore's law. By next Xmas smartphones will have caught up and the year after that this will just be 'meh' in terms of computing power.

PS: Yes... staying static has the advantage that developers have exact specs to develop/optimize for.

Re:Which means... (2)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 3 years ago | (#35032502)

Unlikely. Sony essentially took current smartphone tech and scaled it up. Smartphones are starting to ship with dual-core Cortex A9 processors, Sony threw in a quad-core. Smartphones are starting to ship with single-core PowerVR SGX540s, Sony through in four of 'em.

The reason you won't see this in 6 months from smartphone vendors is because Sony has a bigger power budget; the PSP doesn't have to be as small and light as a smartphone, so they can afford to burn a lot less power. The NGP probably draws three times more power than a typical smartphone, and 6 months isn't enough time to counterbalance that.

18 months, maybe, that's enough for Moore's law to take effect, but since dual-core Cortex A9 smartphones *just* hit the market, 6 months is silly.

Re:Which means... (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 3 years ago | (#35032578)

This time next year, we may be saying 'quad-core Cortex A9 smartphones *just* hit the market', and the NGP will have been out for a couple of weeks which just hit the market. 12 months to catchup, doubt it, 24 months yes.

Re:Which means... (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031906)

Could be eight generations beyond, if you buy it Sony will make you regret it. Based on my PS3 experience.

But can it make phone calls... (-1, Offtopic)

Rinnon (1474161) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030540)

Cause you know, I like my smart phones to be able to make phone calls. It's just one of those things I do with them.

Re:But can it make phone calls... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35030882)

It's Carmack, all he cares about is computing power. He doesnt even realize games are supposed to be fun too. I know that sounds harsh but id software isnt the only game dev company out there and Carmack's word isn't the bible on game dev. Slashdot needs to reach out a bit and look at other devs or all we'll have is the most exciting pixel shader ever. He did great in his day but who cares what he thinks anymore. There are only so many times you can throw new clothes on Quake and Doom. That said, I'm sure this device will be as powerful as he says but that's blantantly obvious. I'm more curious if companies like Bioware or Valve would invest in developing for a platform like this.

Re:But can it make phone calls... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35031128)

It doesn't matter if you think that Carmack doesn't know how to make a game. It is undeniable that the man is a god when it comes to developing game engines and that is what makes him an authority on the potential for various gaming hardware.

Re:But can it make phone calls... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35031654)

While I was never as big a fan as some of the other guys I used to have a pretty good deal of respect for him, being a major indie player back in the heyday of shareware, and then later when id started doing periodic open source releases (Which if anyone else remembers the history on, will know that they really came into that kicking and screaming after someone leaked the Doom(Wolfenstein?) source code.) But honestly ever since he started Armadillo Aerospace it seems like id hasn't even been trying. Quake3 was the last major production of their's, It and Doom lasted in stores well into 2005 maybe even 2006, whereas Doom3 can't even be found on store shelves now, despite Rage not even having made it out (And remember that Doom stayed around until well after Q3A was out, being released in at least 2-3 compilation packs, before the Q1/Q2/Q3A compilation was released a few years back.) Honestly though the Sellout to Vivendi/Bethesda/Atari(?) just goes to show how far id has fallen. No longer are they the swift, technically advanced gaming company, whose engines make people perk up and listen. No longer are they producing games that not only showcase their technical prowness but also are played for years to come. Rather they're a reminder of the heyday of shareware and the dotcom bubble. Something that lead to the computer world of today, but have long since been replaced, if not surpassed, by the big budget productions and still agile small shops with whom they once competed.

RIP id software. May we at least get that promised GPL Tech 4 release out of you before your already limited autonomity is quashed for good.

Re:But can it make phone calls... (1)

Narishma (822073) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031182)

It's not a smartphone, nobody said it was.

Re:But can it make phone calls... (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031884)

They said it's got a 3G chip in it. We don't know yet if, like the iPad, it will still be unable to do voice, but that only makes sense in Apple's case because you'd look an idiot holding against your head. And the descriptions so far suggest they expect everyone to take out a data contract, if not a voice one.

Re:But can it make phone calls... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35032086)

And the descriptions so far suggest they expect everyone to take out a data contract, if not a voice one.

Including people who buy the version that doesn't include 3G capabilites?!? "Everyone" is a very broad term...

Re:But can it make phone calls... (1)

Narishma (822073) | more than 3 years ago | (#35033090)

You need to read those descriptions again. Only one model will offer 3G, and it may not even be offered in all countries, depending on what deals Sony gets with the different carriers.

Yeah (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35030592)

And the technical aspcets of the PSP were also beyond any other similar device of its generation and yet it fall behind in sales to the NDS in every market. Is not about the power of the hardware, is about the entertainment that brings the games.

Re:Yeah (2)

lyinhart (1352173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030638)

And the technical aspcets of the PSP were also beyond any other similar device of its generation and yet it fall behind in sales to the NDS in every market. Is not about the power of the hardware, is about the entertainment that brings the games.

If it was about the entertainment, then NDS wouldn't be doing so well either. Most of the titles are shovelware games, primarily based on TV shows and other properties. But the DS is very popular among kids. The problem with the PSP was that it tried to provide the exact same experience as a home console on a handheld, so what you ended up with were watered down home console games. At least with the DS, you have that touch screen that provides for some game features unique to that product.

Re:Yeah (2)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030838)

DS has the biggest library of JRPG's on any platform to date... Atlas has been providing some very entertaining, quality products for the entire of the DS's lifespan. If you think the DS is for kids you are talking on hear say, not actual fact.

Re:Yeah (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030840)

There are vast numbers of crappy DS games, it's true.

However, there are also lots and lots of non-crappy DS games.

Remember Sturgeon's Law: Ninety percent of everything is crap.

Re:Yeah (1)

Eraesr (1629799) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030944)

There are vast numbers of crappy DS games, it's true.

However, there are also lots and lots of non-crappy DS games.

Simply put: there are lots and lots of DS games.

Re:Yeah (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031594)

and almost NO PSP games.

Simply look at Gamestop, a wall for DS, a tiny 2 foot wide section for PSP.

PSP is a failure because there are no games for it, and what was released sucked bad.

Re:Yeah (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031576)

I see you know nothing about which you speak.

DS is popular as hell with adults. unless you think "stop smoking coach", my cooking instructor, and the exercize and brain apps are all for kids...

Johny has been chain smoking cince he was 5, time to get him of Camel non filters.

Adults make up a huge chunk of the DS market.

OK! OK! We get it already.. (0)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030602)

It's next generation. It's a generation beyond. It's Jean-Luc Picard to everybody else's James T Kirk. Stop fucking beating us over the head with it.

Re:OK! OK! We get it already.. (2)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030752)

James Kirk had better writers (actual science fiction writers like Harlan Ellison).

Sony sure has screwed-up. They had the #1 console for ten years. They sold nearly 300 million units and smashed the competition (nintendo64, sega saturn, gamecube, xbox). And then threw it all away with bad ideas and an overpriced PS3. Not that PS3 is a bad console but a release price of $700 is ridiculously high.

Now it appears they are repeating the PS3 mistake with the PSP-2. They ought to learn a lesson from Nintendo - less powerful but cheap consoles == something kids can afford.

Re:OK! OK! We get it already.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35030892)

that should be 65C816 (sorry)

Re:OK! OK! We get it already.. (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030974)

>>>should be 65C816

Thanks. And I accidentally said two days ago that I own a Windows 3 laptop with 80386. I meant the 80386SX with the 16 bit bus. I apologize. ;-)

Re:OK! OK! We get it already.. (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 3 years ago | (#35033116)

And as long as someone has brought up your sig... what about the Atari 5200? It's the original HUEG [google.com] console!

Re:OK! OK! We get it already.. (1)

Eraesr (1629799) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030976)

Don't forget that they sold over 60 million PSP units, which isn't exactly shabby either. That's more than N64 and GameCube combined. It's just that this number looks kind of bleak compared to the staggering 144 million DS units Nintendo sold.

Re:OK! OK! We get it already.. (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031094)

Since N64 and Gamecube were both considered relative failures, that's not so impressive.

Re:OK! OK! We get it already.. (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031206)

Don't forget that they sold over 60 million PSP units, which isn't exactly shabby either. That's more than N64 and GameCube combined.

Why are you comparing handheld sales to consoles?

Re:OK! OK! We get it already.. (2, Insightful)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031406)

Orginal Gameboy almost sold 119 million, Gameboy Color sold 118 million, Gameboy Advanced sold 81.51 million. This is not including the other variations to the Gameboy series, like the Micro, Light, Advanced SP etc. Not forgetting Nintendo had competitors like the Sega Gamegear.

60 million of all PSPs over 7 years is shabby.

Re:OK! OK! We get it already.. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031606)

Because far more Honda Civics sold compared to 6 karat diamond rings!

Re:OK! OK! We get it already.. (0, Redundant)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031732)

Orginal Gameboy almost sold 119 million, Gameboy Color sold 118 million, Gameboy Advanced sold 81.51 million. This is not including the other variations to the Gameboy series, like the Micro, Light, Advanced SP etc. Not forgetting Nintendo had competitors like the Sega Gamegear.

60 million of all PSPs over 7 years is indeed shabby.

Re:OK! OK! We get it already.. (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35032818)

But can it render Toy Story in real-time? That's the real question.

In the past... (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030620)

In the past, portable gaming systems were always WAY beyond cell phones and other mobile devices. The fact that they recently caught up must be very scary for Sony.

It must worry them even more that there are dozens of new smartphones every year, but the next PSP will be 5 years from now. That's a lot of competition.

Because that's what he just admitted... That smartphones are competition to the PSP. There's not much point in comparing them, otherwise.

Here's, let's try this: The PSP NGP is far more advanced than the space shuttle. ... Yeah, that just doesn't make sense. The PSP NGP is far inferior to a supercomputer. Yup, again, nonsense.

Re:In the past... (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030804)

>>>must be very scary for Sony.

If I was Sony I'd follow in the footsteps of Atari and Sega and just say, "Oh forget the portables." When the Lynx flopped and ditto the Game Gear, they realized the market was profitable for Nintendo, but not for them, and bowed-out.

Re:In the past... (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031400)

Which was a shame, since it allowed Nintendo to gouge the market for years. Yeah, the game gear ate batteries like a pig, but it had a nice backlighted color screen which would only appear on the Gameboy ten years later.

Re:In the past... (1)

Zelgadiss (213127) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030954)

Oh they are on it already, google search for "Xperia Play".

It will only be a matter of time before a PSP2 phone comes out - given that it uses ARM as well they can reuse the CPU and probably GPU for an Android based phone.

Assuming nothing goes wrong, they can give Apple a run for their money.

Nintendo is the one that should be worried.

Re:In the past... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35031346)

In the past, portable gaming systems were always WAY beyond cell phones and other mobile devices. The fact that they recently caught up must be very scary for Sony.

Caught up ? What color is the sky on your planet ? Either you have mobile phone keys or touchscreen as controls, good enough for casual 5 minutes at a time games, doesn't work for the kind of games that are released for NDS or PSP. On IPhone you can't change battery so even if you wanted to do some serious gaming on long travel you cant. Try Scribblenauts, Animal crossing, Super Mario 64 DS or God of War Chains of Olympus, Killzone Liberation. If you can show me something similar in game play and presentation go ahead. I wont throw away handhelds yet.

Is this suprising? (1)

effigiate (1057610) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030626)

Device designed specifically for gaming out-games devices designed to perform multiple functions. News at 11.

lol (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030656)

"the NGP will have two proprietary memory card slots."

You'd think Sony would have learned by now.

Re:lol (3, Insightful)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030732)

Yeah, well despite all of their past media format defeats, they just won on BluRay so now they are more convinced than ever. They're like the person that's been pumping $100 worth of quarters into the slot machine all day and just got a $10 payoff...they're on a roll now. So they double down by playing 2 slot machines at once, so they can double their "winnings".

Re:lol (2)

RedK (112790) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030786)

Or maybe it's their past format wins that inspired them continue. You know, things like CD, DVD, the 3 1/2" floppy, BetaCam...

It's not like Blu-ray is Sony's first media format win. But then again, everytime Sony gets one in, there's always someone that thinks it's the first time.

Re:lol (0)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030860)

First post!

Re:lol (3, Informative)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030934)

CD was developed jointly with Phillips, and Phillips is generally more credited with pushing CDs as a standard (most of the actual standards documents were released by Phillips.)

DVD was also jointly developed by Phillips and Sony, but it was based mostly on a previous standard by Toshiba.

Sony came out with a 3" floppy standard that went nowhere. A consortium of companies took the standard and developed the 3.5" floppy standard.

Betacam was a good professional format widely used, just like DAT, though not adopted widely by the general public.

So, yeah, when Sony teams up with Phillips to develop new media they hit home runs. On their own - not so much (Beta, 3" Floppy, Consumer DAT, Minidisc, Memory Stick...)

Re:lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35031314)

CD was developed jointly with Phillips...DVD was also jointly developed by Phillips and Sony, but it was based mostly on a previous standard by Toshiba....A consortium of companies took the standard and developed the 3.5" floppy standard.

Sony also worked with Phillips on BR.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc#Origins [wikipedia.org]

Re:lol (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35031316)

I assume RedK is talking about pushing and popularizing formats, but lest any of the younger crowd think Sony invented these formats:
The CD was invented by Battelle, it was simply licensed by Sony/Philips.
The DVD was essentially invented by a co-op between DiscoVision and Philips in the form of the LaserDisc (wow, remember those!).
The floppy was invented by IBM and originally 8" square (see beginning of War Games), Sony did create the 3.5" format size though.
Of course, BetaMax was developed by Sony. While technically superior to JVC's VHS format, it was a failure in the consumer space. I think it was used pretty heavily in professional video production though.

Other Sony formats that are least arguably consumer failures:
DAT - Digital Audio Tape
Minidisc
AATRAC (audio compression)
MemoryStick
UMD - Universal Media Disc

Re:lol (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031724)

DAT is used heavily even today in the pro world. it's a failure in the consumer world for one reason only the Copyright bit disallowed recording DAT to DAT making home recorders useless.

Minidisc was not a failure, it sold more units than mp3 players did for the first few years mp3 players were available. it just had bad timing and shoddy quality of the portable players coupled with overly complex tiny tinfoil parts that were easily destroyed.

memory-stick and UMD were designed for sony products only to do vendor lock in. they did their job well.

AATRAC was too little too late with too much DRM.

Re:lol (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 3 years ago | (#35032136)

The DVD was essentially invented by a co-op between DiscoVision and Philips in the form of the LaserDisc (wow, remember those!).

Not sure how you can compare the LD (of which I had many) - a 12" analog format stored as laser-readable media - with the DVD, whose main innovation was that it contained compressed digital content.

Re:lol (2)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030850)

Sony tries to run their Commercial division the way they run their Professional division. In the Pro division they are constantly introducing new formats - first Umatic VCRs, then Betacam, then Betacam SP, then Video8, then Hi8, the Betacam Digital, then Betacam HD, and so on.

The pros happily gobble-up all these new formats because they can afford the huge upgrade costs, but that doesn't work for the Consumer division. You'd think Sony would finally learn but they never do. They just keep introducing one flop after another (betamax, super betamax, betamax ED, minidisc, memory cards, etc). Their only real successes were the cooperative ones like CD, DVD, and Bluray where they shared the profits with other companies.

Re:lol (3, Informative)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031152)

Video8 was never a pro format! It was better than VHS-C, but barely. Both Video8 and Hi8 were much more consumer focussed, although there were some pro Hi8 cameras.

MiniDisc is also far from a flop - it is used extensively in the radio industry and in ENG applications and is still one of the best replacements for cassette tape as a re-recordable medium. It failed in the consumer space because the consumer-level decks had the stupid Serial Copy Management System that prevented you making digital copies more than one generation deep (even of your own stuff), which the pro-hardware didn't have. It also faced the rise of the mp3 player. It was also pretty successful in the UK market before mp3 came along, with several manufacturers selling portable and deck players and combined HiFi systems with MD built in. The pre-recorded market never took off - there was no benefit over CD at the time, but as a re-recordable format it was a huge hit.

Re:lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35032220)

In the States, it had the additional problem of expensive media. Around $12 dollars a disc in bulk, $16 for singles. You could import discs from Japan at about 1/3 -1/4 the price, but nobody saw those cheaper disc prices if they were looking at a deck at the store, which cost North of $400 when they first came out. They had a couple of years to get prices to a reasonable level before CD-R really took off and just blew it.

If they priced it the same as they did in the Japanese market during the same time periods, it would have done a lot better.

Re:lol (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35032714)

I'd think that whoever records audio these days on anything but a solid state medium is crazy anyway. A minute of googling gave me the following: U-REC5 lets you record analog sources on SD cards or USB sticks for about $100, and it's rackmount. iKey Audio RM3 is a similar product costing about $50 more. I'm sure there must be something in that ballpark that would take and output S/PDIF, too, just didn't search long enough. Then Marantz PMD661 is a professional-targeted product that has smaller form factor and has digital (S/PDIF) input and sells for $599. About the only thing I can imagine going for pro MiniDisc recorders is that they can be remotely controlled. Given that SD space is essentially free, for recording you wouldn't care much anyway. And for playback -- well, noone uses multiple discrete players these days anyways, at least not in a modern setup. Radio stations play all their material automatically using what amounts to a glorified PC. Shows (theater, etc) pretty much only need a cue-start for preloaded sequences from multiple systems (lighting, pyro, audio) -- there you basically have a multitrack rackmount HD / SSD player with sync I/O, MIDI, etc, but things pretty much run off a single "cue" button, with UI provided by individual systems to tweak things (adjust lights, tweak sound mix for the venue, etc).

So, as far as I'm concerned, anything with moving parts in the storage system doesn't really belong in audio processing these days. Absolutely no need for it. And, as far as thermal engineering goes, I'd just as well have all pro audio and other live performance gear not use fans on anything but external heatsinks -- with the interior of the equipment designed for passive heat dumping onto the heatsink (think hot/cold pipes, etc).

Re:lol (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031504)

Betacam is essentially the same tape, from SP through to HD-Cam SR. Betacam is backwards compatible - You can play small or large Beta-SP tapes in a digibeta deck, or digibeta tapes in a HD-Cam SR deck. They are brilliant formats, and still used today. Mind you, a digibeta recordable deck will still set you back £40,000, or HD-Cam SR for around £90,000.

Re:lol (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35031304)

No kidding. I don't care how advanced or how proprietary this device is, I won't buy it -- because it's a Sony. Because of all the nonsense with the Sony rootkit, deleting "Other OS", and now suing people for trying to open their own machines.

Proprietary memory card slots? I wouldn't expect anything less from a company that is so incorrigible.

Re:lol (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35032370)

It is understandable that they want them.

Sony's pride appears to have been damaged because one single "whiz kid" broke their DRM on their PS3 wide open. So, they are starting from the ground up on yet another "standard" so they can put in the latest encryption and whatever schemes... which some other guy will have a crack for shortly after release.

DRM made Sony a bit player when it came to MP3 players and cellphones. All it would take it Apple making a console system, and Sony would be all but irrelevant to consumers (except for stereo and pro equipment.)

Re:lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35033428)

So long as Sony isn't intending for their new format to take over the world or become some standard for others, this is fine. Or would you have laughed at Nintendo for inventing a proprietary cartridge for the original gameboy?

The reason we laughed at UMD isn't really because it was a stupid format for the PSP. I would expect most of us laughed because it was a stupid format that Sony expected lots of others to make use of outside of the PSP market. (UMD movies, etc)

They want a special type of card to hold their new PSP2 games on, that's awesome. All the power to them. It's a step UP from UMD since it's not going to be a battery hog and has a bunch of capabilities that are suitable for the cosole itself. (Although I fear the way Sony will implement these writable cards.)

what kind of generation? (2, Insightful)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030672)

In portable gaming device land, one generation is somewhere around 5 years, which would be OK for sony, since for the entire lifespan of the thing, it will lead smartphones in terms of specs. In mobile phone land, a generation is around 1 year (you know, to get the general cattle frothing at the mouth for the new shiny for a few months before their contract is up for renewal), see apple if you need evidence, 1 apple, 1 year, 1 iphone...

Now guess what happens when sony release the NGP next holiday season, only to be overtaken by phones within a year.

Also, everyone claiming this thing is as powerfull as a PS3, can i have some of what you are smoking?

Re:what kind of generation? (2)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030916)

>>>In mobile phone land, a generation is around 1 year

This is why I keep postponing purchase of a new phone. I know that the $200 iPhone-clone with internet capability will probably drop to $30 1.5 years from now. I'm a patient person.

>>>see apple if you need evidence

And Macs. Got a G4 that won't run the latest Safari or iTunes (good thing Opera supports old computers else I'd be browserless). I eventually sold the G4 ought of frustration. Meanwhile my XP-PC still runs everything I throw at it, even though it's a year older. "Long term support" is one advantage MS has over Apple. even though MS software is inferior.

Re:what kind of generation? (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 3 years ago | (#35032162)

r

This is why I keep postponing purchase of a new phone. I know that the $200 iPhone-clone with internet capability will probably drop to $30 1.5 years from now. I'm a patient person.

Like the $99 iPhone 3 you can get today? Of course, if you're waiting for the iPhone 4 equiv you're right, but by then the iPhone 5 will be out and you'll be back in "waiting mode."

Re:what kind of generation? (1)

Plasmoid2000ad (1004859) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030926)

True but how many games target the latest iPhone solely as opposed to iOS, which could be many kinds of devices. So 1 year from release, iPhone6 running iOS 6.0.1 rivals the NGP/PSP2 for raw graphics. What about all those running the 3GS on iOS 4? I'd say they have a year and a half, maybe 2 years to get a lead.

Re:what kind of generation? (1)

Snospar (638389) | more than 3 years ago | (#35032082)

I'm still using my original Gameboy you insensitive clod!

"Generation" as in. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35032492)

. . .gaming-appropriate controls to complement gaming functionality. You know, d-pads, physical buttons, etc. Insta-win over the touch-screen only toys, with terrible ergonomics that only support shallow, gimmicky games.

Good controls combined with a modern portable (as seemingly obvious a concept as it is) are indeed a quantum leap over the iOS/Andriod devices of today, and anything that Apple will ever produce.

Yep, that's Sony (3, Interesting)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030694)

Wow. TWO proprietary card slots? The game media I can understand, and even though it's proprietary I'd understand the secondary slot being Sony Memory Stick (I'd hate it, but it's sony, so I'd understand). But we're not even talking proprietary as in Sony Memory Stick, but as in an entirely new media format. Way to go, Sony.

Oh, and they don't see how 3D translates to portable gaming? Well, I'm not surprised. They didn't see how motion control translated to console video gaming either, and laughed about how useless it was for 3 years before their "hey, hey, look at me....we can do it too, and in the lamest way possible" release of Move. I wouldn't be surprised if 2 years down the line they are suddenly all over 3D portable gaming and end up implementing it on the NGP by shipping new games with a pair of red/blue glasses.

Re:Yep, that's Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35030980)

Proprietary card slots seem to work well for Nintendo ?

Unfortunately it's a Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35030698)

No way I'm going to buy that.

I've heard this song before (3, Informative)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030710)

"The Jaguar is 64 bit! Not as powerful as the N64, but more powerful than the 32 bit Sony Playstation." - Jack Tramel, Atari

"The PS2 will be able to do Toy Story graphics in real time!" - Sony

"The PS3 will be so great, people will WANT to pay $700 to get it!" - Ken Kutaragi

Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.
Fool me 4 times, shame on both of us.

Re:I've heard this song before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35031030)

In other news, seriously retarded people are still seriously retarded.

Hi, my name is John Carmack and I endorse this... (2)

pla (258480) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030818)

...And in completely unrelated news, Sony has just announced that the NGP will ship with a remake of Doom (and have no other titles available at launch).

Freedom of choice (0)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030836)

Fine, so none of the early commenters here want to play good looking games on the go.
Well, I'll have some of that and I'll pay reasonable money to do so. Also, every portable console EVER has had proprietary storage - why should this one be different?
Some sensible PSP2 news, thoughts and reaction for people actually interested and not starting a typical sdt bitchfest - http://bit.ly/hXdAUi [bit.ly]

Re:Freedom of choice (2)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030940)

Also, every portable console EVER has had proprietary storage - why should this one be different?

For the game media? Sure, I'll accept proprietary, But the secondary slot is for non-game data....like, say, photos taken with the camera, and other data from applications. If you are going to have those stored to built in, non-removable memory, we don't like that but we'd understand. But if you are going to be good enough to put it on removable media, then use something that's already standard. For crying out loud, we've got SD, mini SD, and micro SD. All have become standard and are used in tons of devices, we can all read them in our computer's existing card reader, and they cover a nice range of sizes for whatever size device you might want to squeeze it into. Don't want to go with SD. Well, OK, we've already got our proprietary Sony memory stick format, which come in full size and the smaller pro duo size, and our existing card readers will handle it. But even their own proprietary format isn't proprietary for them, so they've got to come out with something else brand new?

Re:Freedom of choice (2)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031456)

This one should be different because, as is obvious to everyone, this is more and more going to have to compete with mobile phones. A huge selection of which allow generic SD memory use. It's just one extra inconvenience of buying this for gaming over a good phone (which, as a bonus, operates as a phone).

carmack is an apple fanboy (0)

Verunks (1000826) | more than 3 years ago | (#35030908)

as much as I like Carmack for everything he did, he's becoming an apple fanboy, during the last quakecon he asked the people there how many of them buy from the apple app store and how many from the android market, the result was pretty much even and he didn't expect that, he was all like "wow there are more than two people here buying from the android market".
Also he always disliked the PS3 so I would expect no less from him on the NGP

Re:carmack is an apple fanboy (3, Interesting)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031260)

Wow, so merely liking a platform that is unpopular with slashdot makes you a fanboy now? Is it possible for him to genuinely find iOS compelling for what he is doing in his line of work without him being what you are equating with some brainwashed, blind worshipper. Of all people to accuse of being "hypnotised by marketing" John Carmack is pretty low down on the list of likely candidates.

So to be an apple fanboy you need to:

* work on the platform and express that you quite like it, producing some pretty good stuff.
* ask a question that you don;t know the answer to, re: android and iOS app sales in a consumer demographic that he is interested in (people going to a con named after a game he created)
* express surprise at the answer received, one that points to him possibly reevaluating how much energy to put into porting his new engine over, given that a loose poll at QuakeCon suggests that sales on Android are as high as they are on iOS among his target demographic.

* Profit?

I'm not seeing how you can twist this into "he's an Apple Fanboy" unless you really just mean "anyone who says anything positive about iOS is a fanboy" which is probably it.

Re:carmack is an apple fanboy (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 3 years ago | (#35032288)

I think the point was making a comment like "wow more than two people buy from the android market" is something only a fanboy would say, because it is complete BS.

Re:carmack is an apple fanboy (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35033020)

That's not a quote though, at least not one that has been attributed to him by the poster. You don't quote someone by saying "he was all like" and then throwing in a cheap bit of hyperbole unless that is exactly what he said. I can't find an actual quote via google right now, but I am willing to be corrected. This is how Apple "facts" get started on /. - someone posits something like that carmack 'quote' and it is accepted as fact from then onwards. The phrase is obviously BS, and it may or may not be an actual quote. I suspect it is not, and if Carmack did express surprise at the number of people buying from the Android Marketplace that he wouldn't have worded it as flippantly as that. I strongly suspect it has either been enormously distorted to try and justify the OP's assertion that he is an "apple fanboy", or just regular outright falsehood.

Re:carmack is an apple fanboy (1)

gregarine (171102) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031554)

What has Carmack done for me lately? Last thing of his I played was Quake 3 Arena.

Re:carmack is an apple fanboy (1)

tibit (1762298) | more than 3 years ago | (#35033034)

I've recently looked at Android API documentation, and it seems to be a rather clean and understandable design. I've dabbled a bit with the SDK and running my code on one of those cheap Augen Android-based tablets from Kmart, and going past "hello world" was quite painless. Then, for reasons I can't quite understand, I seem to puke a little bit every time I see Objective C code. It just looks so darn ugly. For whatever reason I just can't stand some of Apple's APIs. Never mind that they plainly don't document some -- you'd think -- pretty basic parts of their API, at least on the desktop. Case in point: just try to find out how to open up a raw socket on a selected network interface and you'll see what I mean. One shouldn't need to google for that. By "selected" network interface I mean you know the name like en0, but the interface has no IP or anything else.

And that comes from a guy who doesn't mind seeing legacy LISP code (like Maxima [sourceforge.net] sources that I used to browse quite a bit), who doesn't mind various more- and less-pure functional languages (OCaml, Haskell) and functional "hacks" like LINQ, and who can wholeheartedly embrace "customizations" like xmos's XC [xmos.com] parallellizable variant of C. I can even stand most of IEC 61131-3 [wikipedia.org] languages. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

Re:carmack is an apple fanboy (1)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 3 years ago | (#35033502)

And yet Carmack still said that NGP is BETTER than his beloved apple product, despite it being made by the people who brought you the hated PS3 in all its terribleness. For a fanboy, he sure is even handed.

I think ARM is a great choice for mobile gaming, they do computing performance/watt quite well and apparently such things exist as 4 core ARM chips with the memory controller attached to each core, meaning you can write a standard multi-threaded app and it just works, unlike that SPU DMA->register file mapping nonsense that pissed everyone off when writing PS3 software. I have no idea why they didn't just solder two of these things into the PS3 and make everyone's life easier (I guess that was is a while ago). I am not surprised Carmack likes it so much.

Bribe/hired (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35031136)

What is the probability that Jobs hired Carmack to attack Sony? Anyway Carmack has been attacking Sony for long as he was never respected by Sony guys and his games never worked for PS gamers.

Re:Bribe/hired (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35031342)

"He says that 'the Sony NGP [will] perform about a generation beyond smart phones with comparable specs.' Essentially, the fast approaching round of iOS and Android devices will still be well behind the capabilities of Sony's new handheld, which comes close to reproducing PS3-like visuals."

Wow.. Talk about your trash talk. Jobs sure got his moneys worth.

Re:Bribe/hired (1)

Narishma (822073) | more than 3 years ago | (#35033176)

Where did he attack Sony? The part where he praised their new handheld console's performance? If so I'd like to be attacked more often.

I'll buy one (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031254)

As soon as its unlocked ;)

No kidding? (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031354)

A smart phone without a contract is $500. This'll retail for $250 and drop in price.

Bleh... (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031380)

I was excited yesterday when I mistook that for an SD card. Proprietary sony? Really? Again? Ahh well...it's still better than those stupid UMDs...

That it comes from Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35031434)

is more than enough reason for me not to buy it.

Did anyone read the tweet? (5, Informative)

GeorgeWright (612851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35031664)

Posted here in full:

"Low level APIs will allow the Sony NGP to perform about a generation beyond smart phones with comparable specs."

Carmack isn't saying that the hardware in the NGP is a generation ahead of smart phones. He's saying that because of the APIs available to developers they'll be able to utilise that hardware more effectively (specifically that a developer will be able to squeeze an extra generation's worth of performance out of hardware with approx. the same specifications), which makes sense once you consider that the games are pretty much running on the bare metal, and that the entire system is optimised for gaming.

To put it another way... (1)

Elendil (11919) | more than 3 years ago | (#35032056)

Smartphones are only one generation away from achieving console-like performance. Counting in IT generations that's what, 2 years? Sony should be worried.

Re:To put it another way... (1)

Narishma (822073) | more than 3 years ago | (#35033278)

No, you misunderstood. The title, summary and even the article didn't help either because they only quoted part of Carmack's sentence. Seriously, it's a twitter message why did they fail to quote it in it's entirety?
Here's the full quote: "Low level APIs will allow the Sony NGP to perform about a generation beyond smart phones with comparable specs."
So he isn't talking about the hardware but the software. The way you access the handheld's (and video game consoles in general) hardware is lower level than that of smartphones and PCs, so with equivalent hardware, developers can get more performance out of consoles than phones or PCs.

Jailbreak? (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 3 years ago | (#35032230)

I bet Sony will have learnt lots from the PS3 fiasco and this thing will be even harder to unlock.

Way to Differentiate (1)

mattwrock (1630159) | more than 3 years ago | (#35032282)

Sony has lost their minds... again. Why do they think power is the key to gaming? If you make your device look like a smartphone, have similar functions to a smartphone, and even use 3G, then most consumers are going to compare you to a smartphone. Your $500 gaming device will be going up against Angry Birds, a cute and free app that works on my phone. Most phones also play Farmville and Mafia Wars too. Say what you will about these games, but they are wildly popular, free, and easy to use on my phone. So your device only plays games? Meh. Nintendo will win because they are differentiating themselves by using 3D (with no glasses). If it plays all of the DS games nicely, it is looked upon as an upgrade to the current handheld. 3D makes it a gaming console in the minds of the consumers because no smartphones are even planned to have this functionality. Smartphones for simple games, Nintendo for 3D games.

approaching retinal display (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35032404)

Good news. When are we going to reach the level where the platform s are alll faster than we need for the video games? 1080p 7.1 surround. Enough storage space processing power and wifi where there is no difference....... in other words. It wont matter what system you are running. You have the same experience....

Can't take this guy seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35033520)

I just find it really hard to take any male over the age of 17 seriously if they have an iPhone. Especially someone in the tech industry thats trying to tell me how advanced something is. Could it be you're comparing it to your little white gaming device that you can talk on and not the currently leading smartphones?

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