updated 11:35 am EDT, Thu August 19, 2010
New Sony PSP to get rear touch controls?
The next-generation Sony PSP is rumored to get touch-sensitive controls on the rear of the unit. It should also be very similar in size to the current PSP-3000, three separate development sources claimed after having reportedly seen and used the upcoming portable gaming console and spoke to EuroGamer. Sony is also said to be showing a prototype model of the device to game publishers. While Sony is keeping mum about the existence of the device or a release date, one source said it should be out before the end of next year. Another source believed it will not show up for at least two years.
A rear-based touch input pad makes sense for gaming applications as it's more comfortable and natural to hold and does not cover up the screen itself when users have to control the action using the touchscreen itself. At the same time, Sony may prefer flash media storage like the current PSP Go rather than the optical disc support of the original.
The rumor isn't confirmed and has some doubt, as it's less likely that Sony would have a prototype available so soon before the release. Companies do still develop test mules for proof a design will work but seldom show it outside a small part of the team.