Around the time of the Tokyo Game Show, Sony held a private meeting at its offices in Tokyo's Aoyama. The purpose was to show off the PSP2.
Several sources have confirmed to Kotaku that the PSP2 does have a previously rumored touch panel on the back of the hardware. The touch panel was described as looking like a big mouse trackpad. When Sony showed the PSP2, it did not provide concrete details regarding how the trackpad will be implemented in games and instead is leaving that to the discretion of game developers.
Sources also confirm to Kotaku that the handheld will have dual analog sticks. Sony's game controllers traditionally have dual analog sticks, but the current PSP model does not. Dual analog sticks would bring the PSP controls more in line with what gamers experience on Sony's home consoles.
The screen itself is not only sharper than the current PSP's, but about an inch larger. The larger screen means that the PSP2 will be larger as well. In the private meetings, Sony is touting the screen as "HD".
A larger PSP should not be that big of an issue for Sony — especially in a mobile environment with large tablets like the iPad. It also shows that Sony realizes it is no longer simply competing with Nintendo, but also Apple.
It is unclear whether this is the same handheld described by the Wall Street Journal. According to the paper, Sony is working on a device that mixes a game player, an e-book reader and a netbook computer.
In late September, there were also reports that the PSP2 hardware was in the hands of "numerous" developers.
Currently, the PSP2's hardware is not finalized, and Sony is having problems balancing battery, power and heat. There are apparently overheating issues, but Sony is, of course, aiming to have those issues corrected by the time the hardware is publicly shown.
Sony set the PSP2's goals (what Sony wants it to do), but is still tinkering with the portable's innards. The PSP2's tech specs are expected to change, meaning that things like chip size and processor size are variable. What's more, the hardware Sony showed was "temp hardware", so the final design is expected to change.
Apparently, Sony has privately shown two versions of the new PSP. One version slides open like the PSPgo, and another version is similar in shape to the regular PSP. These are prototypes, because Sony has yet to finalize the PSP2 hardware design.
Sources tell Kotaku that the PSP2's release window is fall 2011. Sony is not yet talking openly about the PSP2.
Sony did not offer a comment in time for publication.
Update: Sony replied, stating it did not comment on rumor or speculation.
NOTE: The above image is not a picture of the new device just one of many fan-created mock-ups of a new PSP.