Recently a set of images emerged depicting the latest prototype build of Sony's upcoming PSP2. The images verified everything we've heard about the device in previous reports-- front and rear-facing cameras, a rear-mounted touch "trackpad" and dual analog sliders with concave indentations (rather than the current convex version found on the PSP). Additionally it features a similar slide-out design as seen with the PSPgo and doesn't sport a UMD drive.
So much for backwards compatibility.
However on Tuesday IGN followed-up with additional information provided by a developer who already had hands-on experience with the device. According to the unnamed source, the machine is a "beast," packing hardware that can produce results equal to early PlayStation 3 games. While the source didn't provide specific numbers (as in core amount and clock speed), the source said that it's just over half as powerful as the PS3.
With that said, the PSP2 will be able to handle games of comparable graphical quality because it will be rendering to a smaller display with a resolution lower than 1080p. It's speculated that Sony is aiming to create an environment where developers can create games for both platforms. Players could essentially begin a game on the PlayStation 3 and then continue on the PSP2 until they return to the PlayStation 3 later. Like many Blu-ray movies currently on the market, PlayStation 3 games may eventually offer "portable" versions that can be installed separately to the PSP2 unit.
We're betting that the PSP2 will finally rear it's head at E3 2011, but we may actually learn more details when Sony Ericsson supposedly reveals the Z1 (aka PlayStation Phone) in February. Now that it's apparent the PSP2 and PlayStation Phone are indeed two different devices, we're now wondering if Sony Ericsson's Z1 will play a part in Sony's overall ubiquitous gameplay experience. That may be out of the question in regards to PlayStation 3-quality games, but like Microsoft's setup between the Xbox 360, Windows Phone 7 and Windows on the PC, there will be without a doubt some type of gameplay across all three Sony-based products via the PlayStation Network.