Sony is widely expected to formally unveil the PlayStation Portable 2 later this week, but ahead of this a major Japanese newspaper has spilled the beans on some of the new handheld's specs and capabilities.
According to a report on Nikkei, the portable will in Japan be able to link up with the NTT DoCoMo network via a 3G phone connection. While this particular network deal obviously won't apply to Western consumers, the fact there's apparently 3G connectivity in the unit means we could expect something similar when the handheld launches in the West.
A 3G connection would mean the PSP could download data (and movies, and music) over a phone network, greatly increasing the connectivity of the unit (the current PSP can only download via wi-fi, limiting its online use to wi-fi hotspots).
The other major, previously unknown piece of information in the report is that the PSP2 is expected to boast an OLED screen, which on a handheld this size would be capable of producing amazing visuals.
Interestingly, this won't just be a fancy screen; Nikkei reports it'll be a fancy touch-screen. Earlier rumours suggested that the PSP2 would feature a touch-sensitive panel on the back of the device; it's unclear whether this touch screen would complement or replace such a panel.
Nikkei also states that the PSP2 will be using an all-new processor developed especially for allowing powerful performance on a handheld device.
These aren't the first rumours we've heard about the PSP2, but with the big reveal due for January 27, they may well be the last!
We've contacted Sony for comment, and will update if we hear back.