Why Sony's New Handheld Has A New Way Of Interacting With YouS

As we saw when the product was first unveiled, Sony's upcoming NGP won't be using the company's trademark "XMB" user interface. It'll be using something new. Why is that, Sony?

According to Sony Computer Entertainment worldwide studios boss Shuhei Yoshida, it's partly because of "social networking".

"[A] fundamental point was our desire to make this device very social network orientated: there are lots of fun games on Facebook, for example", he tells Edge magazine.

"We wanted to integrate the social networking factor, the potential for friends to join in, interact at any moment. We wanted the entire screen to be part of that experience."

Right. The other reason, of course, is because the NGP, unlike Sony's last two gaming devices, has a touch-screen, meaning the XMB - which was designed to make using a menu with a controller simple - surplus to requirements.

While this new UI is likely easier to use, it also looks like a hat full of assholes compared to the sleek, minimal XMB. Hopefully by the time the NGP launches Sony will have figured out a way to marry touch-screen functionality with something that's at least a little easier on the eyes.

Sony NGP: XMB dropped for 'social networking factor' [Edge Magazine, via CVG]