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PSP 2: What we know about the new Sony Playstation portable

Sony is not all that hot on leaking info about its new products. Reps from Sony could be standing in front of a giant sign that said “New Sony product is coming soon,” while they are holding that new product in their hands, and still they might deny the existence of the device. You could hand them that same device and claim that you broke into the manufacturing plant Sony uses, then took the device out of an official Sony box, and they would stare back at you with an innocent look in their eyes. So until this is 100-percent official, this is all rumor and conjecture. It just happens to be well documented and deeply sourced rumor and conjecture.

The current consensus is that Sony will officially unveil the PSP2 on January 27 at an event, where Sony will be “sharing [its] business overview and strategy.” That might sound harmless enough as far as press conferences go, but while Sony might be ardent about its “no comment” policy, it has never had much luck containing leaks — and many leaks are saying that we will see the PSP2 on January 27.

So assuming that it is official, and the world will soon behold the awesomeness that is the PSP2, what should we expect? Well, here’s what we know.

Graphics and Processor

For awhile now, we have been hearing that the PSP2 would feature a four-core Cell CPU, making it as least as powerful as the original Xbox and close to the PS2, so you would be able to play modified versions of PS2 games. But according to more recent reports, that might be thinking too small.

The newest darling of the rumor ball is that the PSP2 will be able to generate graphics that are on par with the PS3, even though it will be half as powerful as Sony’s video game mothership. Because the render resolution for a portable system would be much smaller than the 1080p resolution the PS3 renders in, the PSP2 might be able to keep pace with the much larger system. If that is true, it opens up a whole lot of crazy potential. Imagine playing a game at home on your PS3, but you have to leave. Rather than taking the pedestrian route of simply saving your game and playing later, you may actually be able to continue the same game on your PSP2. It would likely be a modified version of the game, and developers would almost certainly have to design it with the cross-platform compatibility in mind, but it might happen.

Design

The case will (allegedly) feature a large OLED screen that supports HD and slides out to reveal the controls, touch-sensitive buttons on the back (or perhaps one track pad), analog sticks, a microphone, a front-facing camera, and a 12-megapixel rear facing camera. It is also said to have built-in Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity.

Games

It appears likely, even probable, that the PSP2 will follow the same road as the PSP Go and do away with physical media in favor of digital downloads. Although piracy remains an issue when the media is all digital, it costs less, and the integration with the PlayStation Network seems to suggest that nothing has changed with Sony in terms of physical media.

Pricing and availability

Here’s the rub. We don’t know the exact pricing or release date, and while you can likely expect the PSP2 this year, it will cost you. If even half of the rumors we have been hearing about the PSP2 are true, it will be an incredibly powerful device. And with great power comes great…well, cost. Sony has never been known to let money stand in the way of releasing a product, so when it is released, expect a hefty price tag to accompany it.

Check back in on January 27, when Sony should finally confirm or deny what we know about the device.