NGP Features Facebook-Style Statuses, Chat, ‘Location-Based Entertainment’

Sony’s new portable, the NGP, features a sort of app launching space called Live Area, and it features the kind of friends list functionality we’re used to seeing on consoles, not portables.

Live Area is what you use to launch games on the NGP, and from the demo, it seems to work as fast as app-launching on mobile platforms. It includes lots of great features, like Trophy support, messaging between friends, and the ability to make and monitor status updates like you’d see on services like Facebook.

Like the PSP, the NGP supports a lot of other functions as well, like a browser and a photo viewer for pictures you can take with the device’s forward- and rear-facing cameras. You can also access the PS Store from Live Area.

NGP also includes a new feature called Near, which uses GPS technology to give players information about players in a given geographical area. You can see what people are playing and where they are in relationship to you, and actually get exact stats about specific games being played in your area. It’ll add an additional layer to social networking with gameplay with the NGP.

Sony announced the NGP would include 3G support as well as Wi-Fi, so all these online Live Area features should work from just about anywhere, anytime. We have no idea what it will cost you, but at least in concept, it’s very cool.

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