At last week's PlayStation Meeting 2011, Sony picked up the silicon gauntlet thrown down by Nintendo with its 3DS by announcing a new handheld gaming device code-named Next Generation Portable.

The NGP sports bucket loads of bleeding-edge tech including:

  • A huge 5" OLED touchscreen (that's right, the NGP supports multi-touch).
  • A rear touch pad that is 1-to-1 pixel mapped to the front display, so you can manipulate on-screen objects without obscuring your view.
  • Dual cameras, front and back (augmented reality games are apparently the new hotness).
  • Motion control support including a gyroscope, accelerometer and compass.
  • Dual analog sticks (Finally!)
  • Every single type of wireless tech under the sun, including cellular 3G (non 3G models also will be available).
  • Flash based media (No more battery-draining UMD optical discs)

Games will be sold via retail and downloadable via the PlayStation Network. The NGP is backwards compatible with PSP titles, PSN Mini games and PS1 titles. Right out of the gate, Sony announced NGP versions of some of its premier franchises, including Uncharted, Wipeout, Hot Shots Golf and Little Big Planet.

The NGP will be released before the end of the year (how's that for details?) and Sony ominously declined to give a price, saying only that it will be "affordable".