For months, rumors have been circulating about either a redesign or a successor to Sony's PSP handheld. This week, the flames of speculation were further fanned by a job listing on the official Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Web site for an "evaluator/assessor" for a "new game machine." According to a GameSpot translation by a fluent Japanese speaker, the new machine is "part of the PlayStation or PSP series and their peripherals."
The job listing goes on to state that, if accepted, evaluator/assessor applicants will "be part of an advisory staff that will play PlayStation series software on this new machine and check its functionality. They will also be able to "test game machines not yet released or new functionality of PS3 peripherals before they are released." (Emphasis added.) [UPDATE] Since the story ran, Sony has changed the copy on the listing, removing mention of a "new game machine."
So what exactly is this new "game machine"? Is it a new PSP, as some suspect, or simply some sort of new peripheral for the PSP or PS3? When contacted by GameSpot, Sony Computer Entertainment reps said they were working on a response, which had not been issued as of press time.
If the device in question is a new model of the existing PSP platform, it would be the fourth iteration and third redesign of the handheld since its Western release in 2005. The first revamp, the PSP-2000, was unveiled at E3 2007 and offered a slimmer chassis and video-output support. The second revision, the PSP-3000 that launched last October, offered a brighter LCD screen, built-in microphone for use with Skype, and interlaced video output.