NVG format will be rewriteable and store save data, DLC and patches
The Sony panel at the Game Developer Conference (GDC), as expected, was dominated with more dope on the NGP - aka PSP2, the successor to the PSP portable console. Most of the information detailed there wasn't new, which we had already covered during the NGP reveal at Sony Computer event at Tokyo held in January. However new information trickled out on the new flash memory card temporarily dubbed the NVG, which replaces the unwieldy UMD format.
The NVG format will feature two storage capacities - 2GB and 4GB cards. The former will be used for small games, while the latter will service large high production value games like the NGP versions of Uncharted and Resistance, which will require the storage heft for the heavy texture assets and lavish FMV sequences. Being flash format allows the card to be rewritable, which leaves the free space to be utilised for save data, patches and downloadable content. This is smart because playing games over a different system is more seamless because you no longer have to worry about savegame migration. Sony says, about 5-10 percent of the total storage space will be reserved for this purpose.
The NVG is a smart alternative for those who prefer hard copies of games through brick-and-mortar shops. Sony has made a smart move by giving the consumer a choice between downloads and actual hard copies, while at the same time avoiding its earlier mistake of alienating the game stores. That's one less chance, and a major one considering the widespread disdain towards its UMD format, for Sony to botch up the NGP. Now let's hope the portable console is priced sensibly.