The 404 746: Where would it matter if they did? (podcast)

In the 3-plus years we've been recording The 404 Podcast, we've gotten really good at pissing people off, and today I messed with the wrong group: New York pizza snobs. It was probably my fault for admitting my excitement over a new Papa John's opening up in my neighborhood, but the secret's out and I can't hide my love for generic pizza anymore. What can I say--I'm a free-agent pizza guy, and what's wrong with Sbarro, anyway?

Getting into some of today's tech headlines, Sony released some kind of handheld gaming device that nobody cares about. Just kidding. Jeff cares so much he took the day off work yesterday to focus entirely on the Sony Next Generation Portable that Brooke Crothers accurately describes as the Apple iPad on steroids.

Jeff breaks down the impressive updates on the NGP including its ARM processor design with four cores that give it about four times the CPU and GPU performance of the iPhone 4, according to Lineley Group senior analyst Joe Byrne.

Another great feature on the NGP is the dual capacitive touch areas on the front and rear that let gamers interact with the device without their fingers blocking the viewing area on the front screen.

It'll certainly require a semisteep learning curve for first-time users, but at least we finally get a portable device that combines the iPhone's capacitive screen with physical gaming buttons.

Caroline McCarthy writes an insanely popular blog on CNET that's now reserved her a spot on a search marketing firm's infographic that asks "Which Female Tech Influencer Are You?"

We have no idea whether or not she approves of this flowchart that kind of looks like something out of YM Magazine in the '90s, but we're proud nevertheless of Caroline for being included alongside other tech pundits like Google VP Marissa Mayer and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Take the test and hope for the best!

We also have a few decent voice mails to play today, but the well is running dry, so keep them coming! Give us a call at 1-866-404-CNET or record a video voice mail on YouTube and send the link to the404(at)cnet(dot)com and we'll play it on a future episode! And yes, Wilson looks ridiculous in his skully--LEAVE HIM ALONE!! (haha)

Episode 746 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS VideoRead more

Friday Poll: Your mobile gaming rig of choice?

It seems like just yesterday that the only mobile gaming systems in existence were Nintendo Game Boys. Now, we have choices, perhaps too many.

Nintendo last week took the wraps off of its latest portable, the 3DS, which offers a dual-screen gaming system with a glasses-free 3D screen for a new generation of games.

Then, this week, Sony debuted its next-generation portable, code-named, well, Next Generation Portable (NGP). It packs an impressive-looking OLED display, control sticks, and multitouch surfaces into a sleek-looking package.

And for more casual gamers, the iPhone and iPod Touch (as well as the iPad) offer an inexpensive, extensible platform with a load of games. Many iOS hardware owners don't even realize they have a powerful gaming device in their pockets, but they do. And now with the iPhone hitting Verizon, the audience is expanding. … Read more

Inside Sony's next-generation PSP

Sony's disclosure of the internals of the Next Generation Portable (NGP) PlayStation at an event in Tokyo today reveals a game engine that might be best described as an Apple iPad on steroids. Lots of steroids.

Like the iPad (and iPhone), Sony will use an ARM processor design. Of course, Sony and Apple aren't the only high-profile device makers using ARM chips. Motorola is using an advanced ARM chip from Nvidia in its Xoom tablet, and RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will tap a powerful ARM chip from Texas Instruments. Both of those are dual-core ARM designs.

But … Read more

Capacitive and resistive touch to go head-to-head in next portable gaming showdown

A major difference between the NGP and 3DS lies in the two devices' touch-sensitive technologies. The 3DS will reuse the original DS' resistive touch screen, whereas the NGP will have two capacitive touch areas (front and rear), of the type most tablets and smartphones use today (including the iPhone and iPad).

The 3DS' resistive touch screen requires some depression (hence the stylus), but can also respond to a finger press. The technology offers a nice level of precision (like when handwriting or pecking at small virtual keys), but certainly requires a bit of a learning curve when being used in tandem with a stylus.

With the introduction of the NGP's front and rear touch capabilities, players will essentially have another dimension of interaction at their disposal. At first glance the rear pad might seem silly, but after the insightful video to the right, we're beginning to think it might actually provide a more seamless gaming experience. The video showcases a game called Little Deviants, in which the player drags a finger across the rear panel to manipulate the world onscreen. We're excited to see that for the first time gamers can interact with a portable gaming device without their fingers blocking the screen.… Read more

Your guide to the Sony Next Generation Portable

We've been inundated with a barrage of information regarding Sony's successor to the PSP. The Next Generation Portable, NGP, or PSP2 certainly has an impressive amount of news surrounding it, so we've decided to make this post our central hub for all things NGP. Here you can follow all of CNET's coverage of the new device scheduled to ship this holiday season.

News: The official NGP announcement Sony bringing PlayStation games to Android Analysis: Tale of two portables: Sony NGP versus Nintendo 3DS (head-to-head specs, games, and outlook) Capacitive and resistive touch to go head-to-head in next portable gaming warRead more

Tale of two portables: Sony NGP vs. Nintendo 3DS

January hasn't even come to a close and we've already been introduced to two brand new portable gaming systems--one from from Nintendo and one from Sony.

At a press event in Tokyo yesterday, Sony revealed its latest endeavor in the portable gaming world with what it is calling the "Next Generation Portable." Boasting PlayStation 3-calibur graphics, two cameras, 3G connectivity, Sixaxis controls, and two touch-sensitive areas, the NGP looks nothing like any of the so-called leaked photos that have circulated on the Internet and is clearly not the same as the Xperia PlayStation Phone.

Now that we know what we can expect from both companies, let's take a look at how the two portable systems stack up.

Hardware It's safe to say the specs Sony has thrown around will clearly outpace the 3DS, as was the case with the companies' last generation of portables. However, as we all know, these details did not have any effect on sales. Sony has taken a page out of the Nintendo DS' book with its touch screen and pad features, but it's far too early to be able to fully grasp what these details really mean for gamers. The Uncharted gameplay video we posted earlier shows a few ways these gestures might be implemented.

The NGP showcases a 960x544-pixel OLED screen, which isn't quite high enough of a resolution to call it portable HD gaming, but judging from videos that are beginning to surface, it's safe to say titles will look spectacular. If the 3DS' main selling point is 3D, we'd imagine the NGP's is its ability to render close to PS3-quality games.

The 3DS and NGP are heavily focused on connectivity, with both systems utilizing Wi-Fi, but the NGP will also allow for GPS, Bluetooth, and 3G data service. In response to the 3DS' Street Pass and Spot Pass player-matchmaking features, the NGP seems like it will revolve around location-based multiplayer functionality with a social feature called Live Area.… Read more

Say hello to Sony's NGP (Next Generation Portable): The PSP2

Here it is, Sony's Next Generation Portable, the NGP or the PSP2. Whatever its final name ends up being, the device boasts a healthy set of specs and features, including 3G connectivity, a touch screen, touch pad, two cameras, and a gorgeous OLED screen with four times the resolution of the original PSP.

While we'll continue to post news, impressions, and reactions, here's a your chance to see the new device from every angle.

The Sony NGP/PSP2: What we still don't know

Last night's Tokyo announcement of the PSP2, now known as the Sony Next Generation Portable, revealed details that had been previously mentioned in a variety of rumors. To a large extent, those rumors proved correct: no UMD drive, but a 5-inch high-resolution OLED screen, 3G capabilities, front and rear touch capabilities, and--yes--dual analog sticks are all part of the NGP's design.

However, much as with the first announcement of the Nintendo 3DS, a lot of key details are still undefined.

Battery life This takes the forefront, considering the disappointing life of the PSP and PSP Go. The Nintendo … Read more