After the recent rumors suggesting Sony had ditched the UMD format for the PSP2, we've been waiting to hear how the company would phrase their inevitable denial. MTV Multiplayer's Stephen Totilo just so happened to have an interview scheduled with John Koller, director of PSP marketing in the North America, and so of course the PSP2 question came up. Surprisingly, though, Koller doesn't outright deny anything, giving a mysterious "can't comment either way" before describing how important Sony view digital distribution.
"I will say, though, because I did read his piece earlier that Sony’s making a big push to digital distribution. That part’s true. And we’ve been making a concerted effort to really over-emphasize the ability for publishers to publish on the PSN. Fits our view of the world. Eventually the digital distribution arm will have some leverage. I think consumers right now are choosing some tangible benefits of the disc. But we saw how that movie ended with music. And we know there are certainly some benefits to promoting that part of it now" John Koller, director of PSP marketing in North America, Sony
When asked point-blank whether Sony were planning to release a non-UMD PSP before the end of 2009, Koller replied "Can’t comment either way, but I will reiterate that the digital component is very important to us. That’s all we can say at this point." Considering the nature of Sony's previous denials - "this is nonsense" - Koller's is practically an invitation to photocopy the company's roadmap.
Koller also made clear that there are "no new hardware development kits out there" and suggested that the PSP team is just as focused on small-scale updates, such as the recent inclusion of a microphone, as they are in large-scale hardware evolutions. One thing is for certain, this isn't the last of the PSP2 rumors we'll be hearing.