Rumors are flying about PlayStation’s next handheld device. Is it another game system or is it a phone? Could it be something different altogether? We’re hoping to find out more with CES rolls around in January, but here’s what we know so far.
There are two theories in play right now, both based on a fair amount of evidence. The first is that of a traditional successor to the PlayStation Portable which would act primarily as a gaming device. The second theory is that Sony is working on a PlayStation branded phone that would compete in both gaming and smartphone markets.
As interesting as it would be to argue which of these is really happening, the general consensus at the moment is that both ideas are correct. Sony appears to be working on a pair of devices, though each one appears to have different capabilities.
Both EA senior vice president Patrick Soderland and ‘Mortal Kombat’ producer Shaun Himmerick have seen the PSP2 and mentioned it in interviews. Himmerick has gone as far as to say, “We have a PSP2 in the house.” He added that “PSP2 looks like it’s a pretty powerful machine.”
Unconfirmed rumors say that the PSP2 boasts similar power to the Xbox 360 and sports an HD screen. A high definition screen with a 720p resolution seems likely, though getting that kind of power into a handheld device is a bit tough to imagine.
The PlayStation Phone is all but officially confirmed as real. Engadget even got a picture of it with Sony Ericsson, though Sony PlayStation branding was not evident. The device appears to use touch pads instead of analog sticks, but is otherwise similar to the PSP Go.
What’s not clear is whether the PlayStation Phone is meant as a phone version of the current PSP or the newer PSP2. If the reported specs on the PlayStation Phone are indicative of the hardware inside the PSP2, those expecting a powerhouse system could be in for some disappointment.
The speculation at the moment is that Sony will reveal one or both of the new devices at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this January. It could easily happen, but the company could just as easily save the big reveal until E3 in June to avoid being caught up in the hype over Nintendo’s 3DS. Either way, we’ll find out soon.