Is the picture up top really what the PSP2 looks like? A slide-screen PSP Go with dual thumb nubs? A tweaked version of the so-called PlayStation Phone?
Plucked from Japanese site 2channel (putatively the world's largest forum) the picture's rumored to be an actual shot of a handheld gaming device Sony's expected to unveil at a press event this Thursday, January 27.
So is the image real or fake?
I say fake. What do I know, but the mesh-textured thumb-nubs look cloned. The '2' following the PSP logo center-bottom looks like someone tried to mimic the PSP font and failed. That, and the number appears weirdly darker, almost boldface.
The screen seems kind of small as well, especially when contrasted with the slide-out space (only a trifle wider than the Go's). And check out the flaring "hourglass" reflection in the machined metal circle around the geometric buttons. It's virtually identical to light patterns in the same spot on unconfirmed (but practically identical) shots of Sony's so-called PlayStation Phone.
Update: As @joseph2411 points out, what's with the chunky old-school Memory Stick Pro in the image? The PSP's always used the newer, svelter Memory Stick Pro Duo.
So yeah, I'll dangle from a limb and call bull-shot, happy to eat crow if I'm wrong this Thursday. Well, maybe not happy. The thing depicted above looks as homely as the purported PlayStation Phone. The PSP and PSP Go--neither handheld eye-catching--seem positively elegant by comparison.
And are we so sure Sony's calling this thing a "pee-ess-pee-too"? Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, does it. Imagine the Game Boy 2 (instead of Game Boy Color, or Advance). How about the DS 2 (instead of DSi, or 3DS)? Sure, the PSP Go was a sales flop, but the name's a lot smoother than PSP one-point-five (or if we're being functionally literal, PSP point-five).
Who knows if this thing's as powerful as a PS3, per rumors, but Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens recently told Eurogamer: "In portable areas, you're going to have statements, which are already out in the press, saying PlayStation Portable 2 is as powerful as the PS3--which is true." Make that at least one vote yes, from a guy whose gaming career nearly predates the Vic-20.
Before you knock yourselves out trying to deduce how to cram toasty multicore cell microprocessors and graphics chips into handheld gizmos, consider what a portable device doesn't have to do.
For instance: Who needs effects like anti-aliasing if you're running 1280 by 720 pixels on a screen the size of a stretched playing card?
Consider all the superfluous rendering tricks, where distant objects like houses on a hillside in some PC game look like pinpricks on a screen the size of the PSP's. In other words, you can achieve more with less when you downsize your visual real estate. That's what guys like Cousens are talking about, not cycle for cycle uniformity.
T-minus two days and counting.