Sony NGP hands-on reviews begin to surface

Sony's new NGP - rumoured to be called the Sony PlayStation Vita - will finally be revealed at E3 2011 in Los Angeles later this month

Clearly there are going to be two big stories from E3 2011 – Nintendo's successor to the Wii (code-name: Project Café) and Sony's successor to the PlayStation Portable (code-name: Next Generation Portable).

And - whatever the final pricing, product naming, software partners, and first-party and third-party games that are currently in development - Sony is sure to reveal its detailed plans and hopes for the new handheld in Los Angeles next week.

On Monday 6 June at around 1am British Summer Time, to be fairly exact. If you happen to be up late and staring at the internet wanting to be the first to know about the future of the PlayStation brand...

PSP2 could be huge!

For now, the UK's Official PlayStation Magazine has already managed to get some hands-on time with Sony's new NGP, with OPM's Leon Hurley telling our colleagues over at CVG that "PSP2 could be huge."

Hurley adds that the NGP's build quality is robust and "far more like a must-have lust-gadget than a toy".

"Think 'small tablet PC' rather than 'upgraded PSP'," says the Official PlayStation Magazine man.

"The buttons are reassuringly firm and far more solid than the rattly ones on previous models. The two analogue sticks feel good and are well spaced - although they are small.

"The touchscreen is particularly impressive. Responsive and quick it transforms games such Hustle Kings from an alright snooker game to a moreish time-sink as you aim and shoot with finger-taps and swipes."

Does Sony have a fighting chance at E3?

All encouraging-sounding stuff, for sure, and it sounds like Sony may well have a fighting chance to impress the crowds of cynical games hacks and industry punters at E3 2011 this month.

The OPM first-look goes on to describe NGP's motion control functionality as very reactive, claiming that it is a device that is "leaps and bounds ahead of other handhelds, combining the best of other platforms with near-PS3 visuals."

Sony has already released a welter of pre-E3 info and assets on its major NGP releases such as WipEout 2048, Super Stardust Delta and the new Uncharted: Golden Abyss. All of which you can see more of over at CVG via the following links:

· Uncharted: Golden Abyss

· Wipeout 2048

· Super Stardust Delta

· Hustle Kings, Little Deviants and more