Ever since the original PSP's launch in 2005, we've heard rumors about its fabled successor, the PSP 2. Despite the persistent chatter over the years, the closest thing we've seen to the next-gen of Sony's handheld is the PSPgo. Still, the evidence of a new PSP has been mounting over the last couple of months, with multiple sources and reports saying development is well under way, including one with direct hands-on experience with the device. So, what do we know about the PSP 2 thus far?
The PSP 2, which it has tentatively come to be called, is the next generation of Sony's popular gaming handheld, the PlayStation Portable. Given the company's penchant for numbering their consoles, "PSP 2" could potentially be what the device is officially dubbed by Sony. Unlike previous evolutions of the PSP, like the slim redesign and the PSPgo, the PSP 2 is expected to be a wholly new platform with new games and a new design.
Kaz Hirai Debuting the PSPgo at E3 2009
A lot. The PSP 2 is expected to be significantly more powerful than the original with processors capable of delivering PlayStation 3-quality graphics. Exact specifications have not been leaked, however, our source says the device's processor is roughly half as fast and powerful as the PlayStation 3's. Although it is less powerful, it should have no problem producing console-quality graphics due to the smaller screen. It is also expected to feature dual analog thumbpads, which is sure to please fans, who have been demanding the addition of a second thumbpad for years. Like the PSPgo, the PSP 2 is expected to maintain an all-digital format and no longer use UMDs. The most drastic change to the device is the addition of a rear-mounted touchpanel, which will be used for tap, swipe, and other gesture controls.
The power of the PSP 2 has led us to believe that Sony may be attempting to create a ubiquitous gameplay experience between the PlayStation 3 and their handheld. With Apple's rapid takeover of the mobile gaming market, Sony may be trying to replicate the company's unified mobile platform with a singular PlayStation ecosystem.
It wasn't, but its existence has been all but confirmed by Sony. We've heard rumblings of a PSP 2 being in the works for years, but there has been a significant rise in reports and leaks regarding the device in the last few months, including leaked photos, tips from development sources, and evenconfirmation from a source with first-hand experience device. Sony, of course, won't admit to anything regarding the PSP 2, maintaining their strict refusal to comment on rumor or speculation.
Originally it was reported that the PSP 2 would be making its debut at E3 2010, but sources say Sony held off on the reveal to allow for more development time and to avoid competing with the announcement of the Nintendo 3DS. According to IGN's own source, the PSP 2 is nearing completion and could theoretically make its debut as early as January's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. However, while the device is nearing public readiness, Sony is more likely to save the announcement for E3 due to the hype and grandstanding associated with the media-only event.
Hard to say. If the PSP 2 is as powerful as we've been told, it is likely to be a pricey piece of tech, with a retail price of $299 or more. However, consumers may be reluctant to shell out that kind of cash for a handheld, and Sony may make the price a little more accessible, perhaps around $199. But again, this is all speculation, and we'll have to wait and see.
Since the PSP 2 hasn't been officially announced yet, all we have to go on are rumors and perpetually blurry, grainy, and/or low-resolution photo leaks. That said, we've got a pretty good sense of what the device will look like. In fact, it will look a lot like the PSPgo and feature a similar slider-like design and casing. It will, however, be slightly larger, but not drastically. Photos leaked by VG247 have been confirmed by our sources, so you can expect the PSP 2 to look like this; minus the overexposed photo distortion and red text, of course.
Yes, the PSP 2 is a completely different device, being helmed by a completely division of the company. It may potentially feature 3G connectivity for true wireless connectivity, but phone functionality is highly unlikely.
Potentially, but we've yet to hear any reports regarding this element of the PSP 2 thus far. We suspect Sony would want to preserve the availability of their existing catalog, though obviously due to the lack of the UMD drive, it would be limited to just the current range of downloadable titles.
While we've been told that every major developer is creating games for the PSP 2, no specific titles have been mentioned. It seems fairly likely, however, that Sony is preparing PSP 2 versions of their biggest 2011 franchises, such as Killzone and LittleBigPlanet.
Although E3 2011 is still over six months away, we're bound to see more leaks before Sony makes their big announcement, so expect new developments anytime.