The latest batch of rumors about the PSP2 corroborate what we last heard about the device ditching UMD and coming this year. But they also add a number of new tidbits about a pre-Christmas release, a touchscreen and more.
The newest rumors about Sony's fabled successor to its portable PlayStation paint a pretty vivid portrait of what might be the face of the PSP to come. This time around the information comes from Pocket Gamer, who spoke to a "developer working on the new hardware." According to this developer, the PSP2 will be released before Christmas this year, and will use make a number of drastic hardware changes to the machine.
Last we heard about the PSP2, Acclaim's David Perry was saying that he had it on good word from developer friends that the handheld would ditch the UMD in favor of delivering games solely through digital downloads. Pocket Gamer says that this is true, and that Sony's planning on distributing games entirely via the PlayStation Store.
Now, here's where the rumors get a little more interesting. Supposedly Sony's been spurred on by the success of the iPhone, and are designing the PSP2 with a large touchscreen. That screen will slide up to reveal the typical PlayStation face button, d-pad and two analog sticks, which should make PSP owners happy. Sounds a lot like some of the fan-made mockups that have been floating around the internet, maybe too much so.
This isn't the first time the idea of a touchscreen PSP has been tossed around, as IGN ran a similar rumor around the end of January earlier this year. I've got my doubts, as I think Sony wouldn't want to come off as so late to the touch-based party, but who knows. According to Pocket Gamer's source, we'll find out everything this E3.