PSP2 gains touch-sensitive controls?

Sony's unannounced handheld will reportedly feature a tactile pad on its reverse side to interact with games; dimensions similar to that of the PSP-3000.

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Source: UK gaming news site Eurogamer.

What we heard: In March, Nintendo fired the first shot in the next-generation handheld wars, announcing its glasses-free depth-of-field gaming machine, the 3DS. The natural assumption has been that Sony will respond with a PSP successor of its own, one that does more than simply upgrade certain components of its current system, and rumors have for some time now swirled as to what the Japanese electronics giant will be bringing to the table.

The latest of these comes from UK gaming news site Eurogamer, which claims to have been given the scoop on a handful of new details regarding the unannounced system. Citing a trio of separate development sources, Eurogamer claims the PSP2 will be approximately the same size as the PSP-3000, which was released in October 2008. Further, the PSP2 will reportedly have a touch-sensitive area on its back that can be used to control games.

The PSP's days are numbered…probably.
The PSP's days are numbered…probably.

Additional details on how the PSP2's alleged touch pad would interface with games was not revealed. However, Eurogamer's sources note that Sony is demonstrating a variety of first-party games on the unit to various publishers and developers as part of Gamescom this week. These sources were also unclear on a release date for the system, with one noting that it could arrive by late 2011 and another saying the PSP2 is still a couple of years off.

Word of a touch-sensitive back is the latest hearsay to emerge about Sony's speculated device. In July 2009, reports indicated that the PSP2 would include a quad-core graphics processor that eclipsed that of the original Xbox. Other reports have said that the device will maintain the PSP's UMD standard, as opposed to going all-digital a la the PSP Go.

The official story: Sony had not responded to requests for comment as of press time.

Bogus or not bogus?: Too early to say. With Sony not even acknowledging that the PSP2 is in development, firming up details on what the device may or may not contain is next to impossible. Further, the electronics giant has the option of tweaking, revising, and overhauling the device, making any supposed features in the here and now potentially moot tomorrow.

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