Sony's still being coy about its plans for revamping the aging PlayStation Portable, but an exec for one of the biggest gaming publishers isn't shy about admitting that his team has seen the PSP2 in action.
Gaming site CVG went ahead and asked Patrick Soderlund, senior vice president of Electronic Arts, whether he'd had "any exposure at all" to the rumored PSP2, which Sony is still refusing to either confirm or deny.
Soderlund didn't equivocate. "Well, obviously as a developer we have had that," the exec told the (probably surprised) CVG reporter, before quickly adding that "I'm not allowed to talk about it."
This isn't the first time that a game publisher has blabbed about the existence of the long-anticipated PSP2. Back in September, the executive producer of the gaming studio behind Mortal Kombat freely admitted that he had a PSP2 "in the house" and that it was "a pretty powerful machine."
For its part, Sony is still dishing out the "we don't comment on rumors or speculation" line when it comes to the PSP2, which is rumored to have a larger display, dual analog sticks and a rear-facing touchpad.
During a recent earnings call, a Sony exec hinted that there is in fact a product that "we are making right now," but that no details would be revealed until "the timing is right."
But was the exec talking about the mysterious PSP2 or the supposed PlayStation Phone, a device that appears to be a Sony Ericsson-manufactured, Android-powered handset with slide-out gaming controls and its own dedicated section of downloadable games in the Android Market?
Hard to say, and indeed, it's still not clear how the so-called PlayStation Phone fits into the PSP picture—assuming, of course, that the PlayStation Phone exists. (Engadget swears up and down that its leaked PSPhone photos are real.)
In any case, details about the PSP2—the dedicated gaming handheld, not the Android phone—continue to trickle in. Kotaku's "multiple" sources claimed late last week that like last year's PSP Go, the new PSP won't have an optical drive for physical UMD game discs, opting instead to go all-flash for storage. (Whether we're talking Sony's removable Memory Sticks, integrated flash storage or something completely different still appears to be up in the air.)
Kotaku's spies also claim that the PSP2 will have 1GB of RAM—double that of the Xbox 360, and far more than the mere 64MB of RAM in the current PSP Go and 3000 models. In other words, we could be talking a revamped PSP with the chops of a full-on living-room gaming console.
Unfortunately, there's still no credible word on when the PSP2 might see the light of day. One possibility is the Consumer Electronics Show in January, but that sounds a little too soon for me. Or perhaps the Game Developers Conference in late February ... but that might be too small of a venue. Personally, I'm betting Sony will finally take the wraps off a new PSP in June, at the E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles, although that's just a guess.
What would you say to a revamped PSP with the power of an Xbox 360?
— Ben Patterson is a technology writer for Yahoo! News.