updated 11:35 am EDT, Thu April 23, 2009
Slider PSP at E3 Rumor
Sony's repeatedly rumored PSP slider redesign is now said to be a much more conventional design that still has some important changes. While keeping its sources close, PlayStation LifeStyle maintains the PSP won't necessarily be a slider and that the design changes are more aesthetic, resembling a more substantial change than Nintendo made between the original DS and the thinner, more advanced DS Lite. Among the features that are reportedly now false are rumors of a touchscreen, which some had thought would be added to give the PSP a better stance against the iPod touch.
The counter-rumor also discards other claims, such as faster processing, a phone or dual analog sticks. Any of these would fundamentally change the dynamics of the PSP and would risk breaking backwards compatibility, the report argues. It also denies that the system will simply be called the PSP-4000 and thus won't be a direct refresh.
Crucially, the report echoes Sony's own deemphasis of UMD and says the mini optical drive won't exist on the new model at all, requiring users to load games either through downloads or a transfer through Memory Stick or USB. The rumor persists that the reworked PSP will get some form of permanent flash storage and thus let gamers keep at least some of their games on the PSP itself.
Sony itself just yesterday confirmed that Patapon 2 will be one of the first major PSP titles to ship only online; retailers will only end up stocking coupons to download the game.
A fully realized rumor would see the PSP update unveiled at E3, which this year takes place in June. When the console would ship, or what price it would receive, are still unknowns.