Sony's PSP Gets a New Look

Sony's redesigned PSP is rumored to be getting a new look. But all changes to this portable gaming device, expected to be released later this year, are largely cosmetic.

The biggest change to the PSP's design is a sliding screen; as shown in a mock-up from VG247, it slides up to reveal various controls that are hidden beneath it when closed. new PSP, dubbed the PSP 4000, may be "significantly smaller in width," because of the new design, Eurogamer says.

According to reports, the PSP 4000 will have to be in the open position to play full-featured games, but there's no word on whether the rumored design includes game controllers or a keyboard underneath the screen. The 4000 may also allow you to play basic games, like LocoRoco, using the shoulder buttons (the L and R buttons at the top of the device) when the screen is closed.

This latest rumor comes after last week's news that the PSP may let go of its UMD drive to offload more bulk from the game system. Instead of the disc drive, Sony may look to sell games through the online PlayStation Store or perhaps even on Sony Memory Sticks. If the rumors are true, then the 4000 is a significant step forward for the PSP; however, the new PSP will still be based on current PSP tech with no improved graphics or gaming features. That being said, with the PSP 3000 and these new rumors, it's refreshing to hear about PSP updates that go beyond new colors, various entertainment bundles and incremental firmware updates.

The rumored release date for the 4000 is late 2009, and may be followed by a PSP2 in 2011 or 2012.

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