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Hands-on with NGP: First game screens

WipEout, Super Stardust and Uncharted dissected

E3 is just around the corner and one of the highlights surely has to be Sony's new handheld, the NGP.

We've always had a good feeling about the Next Generation Portable but now we can say the above with even more conviction. OPM's Leon Hurley has been to see the sexy little thing in the shiny flesh and has come back all smiles for CVG.

"PSP2 could be huge," he reckons, before frightening us by using the word "expensive".

Don't worry though, he's not describing the price but the build quality, saying that it's robust and "far more like a must-have lust-gadget than a toy".

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"Think 'small tablet PC' rather than 'upgraded PSP'," he says. "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."

Hurley - whose full thoughts can be read in the OPM issue 059, in stores next week - describes the motion control functionality as very reactive as well, before declaring the NGP a device that's "leaps and bounds ahead of other handhelds, combining the best of other platforms with near-PS3 visuals."

This afternoon has seen a media blowout for the first batch of NGP releases, including announcements for WipEout 2048, Super Stardust Delta and a proper name for Uncharted.

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