PSP2 confirmed?

For years now there have been rumours of Sony releasing a Playstation Portable 2, and as of recent, those rumours reached new heights when images surfaced of a supposed new PSP featuring a sliding screen and dual analogue sticks.

Gamers were hinting an announcement would be made at GDC, however nothing was shown and the next big opportunity Sony have to unveil the new handheld will be E3, which takes place June 2nd through June 4th at the L.A Convention Centre.

Sony have remained quiet on the subject of the PSP2, refusing to comment on the reports of its existence. However, the hugely popular iPhone and iPod Touch are posing a threat to the handheld market, and as such the new PSP is reported to feature a touch screen display of its own. Hardcore gamers are still catered for with a directional pad and buttons, revealed when the screen is slid open.

Unlike the PSP, the new handheld is also reported to have removed the UMD drive, instead gamers will download their games from the Playstation Store, much like iPhone and iPod owners do from the App Store.

Today it was reported the new handheld, whether it will be called PSP2 or PSP-4000, releases later this year, prior to Christmas. The news comes from a developer working on the hardware, who also reports the handheld will be "far more similar to the iPhone than the current device".

Prices and specifications are expected to be revealed at E3.

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