More details are emerging on the next-gen PSP, with game site 1Up.com reporting that Sony will trot out its new UMD-less PSP at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in June, targeting it for a September release in Japan, followed by a US launch in October or November. While the potential name for the new unit hasn't been confirmed, there are indications that it might be called the PSP Go.
As previously reported, the new PSP will allegedly slide open to reveal its controls. But those hoping for dual analogue sticks may be disappointed -- word is, the new PSP will retain the same control scheme, as depicted in the mock-up above. Whether or not it has a touchscreen is still up in the air, as 1Up says it wouldn't be shocked if Sony borrowed "many design features from their Mylo 2 handheld Internet device, which is seemingly dead in the water".
1Up claims the new PSP will come in two configurations: one with 8GB of internal memory, the other with 16GB. There will be a memory-card expansion slot, but that old-school UMD drive will disappear, with Sony moving to a digital-download delivery system for games. "Since the UMD is going away, Sony will have over 100 classic and new PSP titles available for download at launch (Gran Turismo Mobile is said to be one of the premier launch titles)," 1Up says.
Apparently, Sony is looking to E3 to reinvigorate the PSP platform, which has seen fairly strong hardware sales but has lagged in the software department and now must contend with Nintendo's DS refresh, the DSi, and iPhone gaming.
Recently, Sony announced that titles such as Rock Band, Soul Calibur, LittleBigPlanet, Tekken 6 and MotorStorm would hit the console, and earlier this month, Sony Computer Entertainment America's director of hardware marketing, John Koller, told CNET UK's sister site GameSpot that more than 50 per cent of the PSP's 2009 lineup had yet to be announced.
This all sounds good, but naturally, we'll wait until we see official specs and pricing for the next-generation PSP before we get too excited. But if these rumours are true, should Nintendo be worried?