The HP MediaSmart servers (EX485/EX487 models) received a software update today from HP. The news software allows media to be streamed to wireless devices such as iPhone, iPod Touch and PlayStation Portables. The new software also adds the ability for the servers to convert videos (including unprotected DVD's) into two separate formats: one high-resolution for playing on home devices, and a lower resolution for portable media players.
Once again the Sony PSP 2 rumor-mill grinds into action, with the latest claims being that an "insider source" has confirmed that the gaming handheld will be in stores in time for Christmas. The source, said to be "a developer working on the new hardware" has described the Sony PSP 2 as having a large, sliding touchscreen that pushes up to reveal the usual gaming controls.
After last week's PSP2 rumors, Sony probably thought they'd have at least a few days grace before the next round; no such luck. According to Eurogamer, the next-generation Sony PSP will have a sliding screen - as in this popular fan render - and, when closed, only give access to the shoulder buttons.
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.
Sony just can't seem to convince people that its gaming hardware developers are sitting around idle; everyone is desperate to believe a replacement to the PSP is in the works. Latest to stoke the rumorburn is David Perry, former COO of game developer Acclaim, who tweeted "I hear Sony FINALLY has the PSP 2. And thank goodness, they've removed the stupid battery-sucking UMD disc drive. I'm excited" earlier in the week.
The PSP makes for a great multimedia player, but unless you're willing to buy into Sony's UMD format then you'll be looking at quite a few Memory Sticks in order to keep all your media and game save data to hand. Hard-drive case manufacturer Witchain claim to have a solution, in the shape of their 2.5-inch battery-powered drive enclosure that supposedly hooks up to a PSP via USB.
Video demo of the Witchain drive in action after the cut