We may still be basking in the glow from the E3 Expo last month, since it was there that Sony officially announced the new Sony PSPgo handheld. Well, it seems that a successor to the UMD-free sliding gaming console is already in the works and we have some of the preliminary details.
When we first saw the Sony PSP Go for real, the representatives at the company were quick to point out that this was not supposed to represent a PSP2. Instead, it was a half-step forward for the platform, creating what we may better consider as the PSP 1.5. That’s what the PSPgo is supposed to be. So, what can expect from the next generation?
What We Know and What We’ve Heard about PSP2
Rumors surrounding the possibility of a Sony PSP2 have been floating around for nearly as long as the original PSP has been in existence. Most recently, we’ve picked up on some new rumors that point toward the processing prowess of the PSP2.
Shown above is one of the early concepts that we’ve seen several times before, so don’t view it as an official image of the upcoming PSP2. Sony could take any number of directions in terms of physical design.
Looking inside, the current rumor is pointing toward Imagination Technology’s PowerVR tech. More specifically, we hear that they’ll use the “Hydra” chip that can push 133 million polygons a second and has a fillrate of 4GPizelx per second. The chip acts as both the GPU and CPU simultaneously, improving efficiency and “helping in other areas of programming for the device.”
This should really push the graphical envelope. According to Digital Foundry, this new chip will put the so-called PSP2 in the same neighborhood as the original Xbox. That’s very impressive for a portable platform.
Possible Directions, Designs, and Features
Based on what we’ve heard in the past and based on the direction that Sony has taken with the PSPgo, we can make some educated guesses as to what we’ll see when the PSP2 sees the light of day.
I think it is very likely that they will continue with the UMD-free experience, ditching the physical drive in favor of an all digital delivery format. Seeing how we’re still some time out from a PSP2, the new handheld should be able to push 64GB or more by that time.
The sliding form factor may also be maintained, helping to provide the largest screen with the smallest footprint. The vertical slider of the PSPgo is a possibility, though the horizontal slide of the image above may also be possible.
Will the PSP2 have a touchscreen? It seems that touchscreens are all the rage when it comes to smartphones. We’ve got the HTC Touch Diamond, Samsung Omnia, Palm Pre, BlackBerry Storm and… oh right, the Apple iPhone. Touchscreens are huge and it would seem prudent for Sony to join that arena as well. The Sony Ericsson Rachael seems to be heading that way.
So many PSP owners have long since wondered by Sony only included a single analog thumb stick on their portable gaming machine. The PS2 and PS3 both have dual analog sticks, so why not the PSP2 as well? This will be huge for first-person shooters and similar action-adventure titles for sure. Sony didn’t include one in the PSPgo, but the PSP2 may finally include this feature.
Sony PSP2 Release Date and Price
Realistically, we still know very little about what could come with the Sony PSP2. The PSPgo is working to revitalize Sony’s brand in gaming and the digital delivery is a big part of that. In this way, Sony will likely take a wait-and-see approach for the PSP2, tweaking it according to how the market reacts to the PSPgo.
In this way, it’s very unlikely that we’ll hear anything official until well into 2010, if not 2011. In terms of pricing, we already know what they did with the PSPgo, so expect an early adopter tax. I sincerely hope they keep it under $250.