England’s MCV magazine is reporting that Sony might be planning to make a surprise announcement (which would be less so now, I suppose) at next month’s E3: the PSP2.
Now that the iPad is bringing high-def handheld gaming to the masses, Sony has to be feeling the pain with its low-def PlayStation Portable. Then there’s the already-announced, but yet to be seen, Nintendo 3DS, the successor to Nintendo’s uber-popular DS handheld, which is reportedly upping the ante by adding 3D screens to its new device that requires no special glasses to view. Add these two together and you’ve got yourself a world of hurt for Sony’s handheld device, unless they’re already planning to answer both devices with something brand new of their own.
PSP2 rumors have circulated for years (along with artist renderings of what the sleek, stylish new device might look like, such as the one above), but MCV‘s report sounds pretty convincing, even though it comes from the second-hand reports of the usual “industry insiders.” Of course, last year’s E3 brought us the PSP Go, the minor “upgrade” to the original PSP that deleted data discs in favor of downloadable content. But the PSP Go hasn’t caught on, and fans have been clamoring for a whole new device with boosted speed and capacity, and a bigger, high-def screen, for a long time.
Chances are, this report is just wishful thinking. But Sony would be crazy to not at least be planning the next PSP. The only real question is if 2010 is the year it’ll be unveiled. Sony has its new Move motion controller to show off at E3 this year, but that’s old news, comparatively. I can’t imagine anything else Sony could do to make big headlines at E3 than pull of a mega-surprise like a whole new device.