Sony Working To Convert UMDs To NGP-Friendly Format

The long, slow march to the release of NGP — hell, the proper naming of NGP — continues with drips and drabs of information. The latest comes from two sources out of Japan, and both speak to the device itself and how it will play nice (or not) with Sony’s back catalog of PlayStation Portable UMD releases.

Sony intends to stay the course on working with third-party developers to convert UMD releases into digitally deliverable quantities, according to a report from Japanese outlet Gigazine (via Andria Sang). Bringing UMD titles into the digital download space has been an ongoing effort since the arrival of the PSP Go. There are a range of opinions concerning the speed at which things are unfolding and which games are available, but the wheels continue to turn all the same. The report also mentions Sony’s plans to release PSP games on the NPG’s flash memory card-based format, but no other details were offered.

Earlier in the weekend, another report from Japan (also via Andria Sang) brought more on the NPG from Sony head honcho Kaz Hirai. He also indicated that PSP games will be released on the NPG’s new card format and that the device itself sports a new operating system, likely one that builds on what powers the PS3/PSP. This means that all PSP titles will be run through a software-based emulator, in much the same way that the second wave of PS2 backwards compatible PS3s did. People who already own PSP digital downloads will be able to grab them for their NPG.

Hirai also talked a little bit about 3G, saying that the company plans to release the NPG in WiFi-only and WiFi + 3G flavors. Talks are still underway with carriers in the various territories, so he offered no further specifics than that. He did confirm that there will be no phone functionality for the 3G models, that it would be “nonsense” to use it for such a purpose. I’m sure I’m not alone in agreeing with him there.