Sony has downgraded the specs of its PSP successor, codenamed NGP, so that it can be priced competitively against the 3DS.
That's according to French site 01.net (via 1Up), which has an uncanny knack for leaking accurate Sony information (particularly regarding the NGP). The site claims that Sony intends to release the NGP in Japan this year and the rest of the world next year. It says the firm aims to price non-3G models of the portable competitively with the 3DS, which launched in UK for £229.99 and in US for (a far more attractive) $249.99.
In its decision to play hard ball with pricing, however, the report claims that Sony's had to make some downgrading revisions to the hardware specifications it originally gave to developers. On board RAM and VRAM have apparently been cut in half to 256MB and 128MB respectively.
The consequences of such a change will apparently not be too significant especially, it says, if the access speed for the machine's external memory card is fast enough, although Sony has apparently had to reduce the size of the console's operating system to save space, and 26MB of RAM will reportedly be available for functions that require quick access.
The site also reports that Sony has scrapped plans to include 16GB of internal storage, instead opting to use external memory cards exclusively for storage. Early NGP dev kits apparently features a memory card slot that suggested a new format of memory card designed to provide mass external storage for the device, similar in architecture to SD cards.
Sony is expected to spill all at E3 in less than two weeks, its press conference set for June 6.