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
Having found that their usual denials are fast ignored, Sony seem to have moved on to sarcasm in their insistence that the PSP 2 is not in development. After IGN suggested that “several credible sources” had told them the PSP 2 would have a widescreen multitouch-capable display, and then theorised – on the back of a Sony questionnaire – that it could also include Bluetooth support, an integrated hard drive and GPS, a source close to Sony has told gaming site MCV that “this is nonsense“.
Full denial after the cut
Sony Japan have unveiled four new versions of their handheld console, in the shape of the PSP Carnival Colors range. Set to go on sale in Japan from March 5th 2009, the limited-editions will be available in "Vibrant Blue," "Radiant Red," "Bright Yellow" and "Spirited Green", and be offered with optional color-matched accessories.
All is not well with Sony and Sony Ericsson: according to reports this week [via], Sony have refused to allow its cellular partner to use the PlayStation brand, as has previously been done with the CyberShot and Walkman ranges. Sony Ericsson have claimed that the partnership is holding off until “product proposition lives up to brand promise”, but sources close to the matter suggest that Sony executives refused to licence the PlayStation brand until the company makes handsets independently.
As to be expected Dssidia was number one on last week’s Media Create Japanese sales charts by selling 489,126 copies. This however was not the best debut week ever for a Japanese PSP release title, that honor goes to Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G with the absurdly high number of 820,000 sold in the first week.
Sony are already planning the next update of their PSP handheld console, the PSP-4000, for release in late 2009, while game developers are already coding titles in preparation for the device's replacement, the PSP2. That's the word from Eurogamer, who have heard from unspecified publishing sources about the next-gen versions of the current Sony PSP-3000.