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NGP backwards compatible with all PSP games (on PSN); smoothing and dual analog support included

The PlayStation Portable's lack of a second analog stick has always been a problem for shooters. Sony Bend's Resistance: Retribution had a clever – albeit complicated – solution for this shortcoming: let players tether a DualShock 3 controller to the handheld. So when Sony showed off the game running in emulation on an NGP last month, with full use of that right thumb stick, we assumed there was some benefit specific to Retribution.

As it turns out, all PSP titles1 will be able to take advantage of that second analog stick, as well as other NGP enhancements. "All PSP titles that are currently available on the PSN can be played on the NGP," VP of product development at SCEA Scott Rohde told a crowd of game journalists. "And they'll take full advantage of the graphics smoothing capabilities of the system and the controls will be remapped to take advantage of the dual analog sticks."

While I can't say much about the graphics smoothing – it definitely looked like it was being zoomed up 400% – I can say that the second analog stick worked wonderfully in Retribution. The game originally mapped the right stick to the four face buttons. It's unclear how the tech will work with other games, and the representative we spoke could only say that the technology we were using was early. In fact, the sole NGP prototype that had the emulation software belonged to SCE's Shuhei Yoshida, who was taking it with him back to Japan that night.

We're hoping to learn more about how PSP games take advantage of NGP hardware at E3. Any specific questions or concerns, let us know in the comments.

1: Of course, the list of PSP games that never appeared on PlayStation Network includes several high-profile titles, like Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, and Lumines.

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