The long-awaited PlayStation Portable 2 (PSP2) could be unveiled at a special Sony event in Tokyo later this month, reports claim.
Citing unnamed sources, gaming sites VG247 and MCV say Sony will unveil the updated portable on January 27. Details are slim so far, and Sony won't say for sure that it will show off the PSP2 at the event. It would only tell CNET's sister site GameSpot that it would be "sharing [its] business overview and strategy."
Rumors surrounding the PSP2 have been swirling for quite some time. In October, reports surfaced claiming the device would feature a touchpad on the back. It's also been reported that the device could feature an HD display and offer a slightly larger screen than current PSP models.
Sony Computer Entertainment chief Kaz Hirai has hinted that a new PSP featuring a touch display is on the way. He told The New York Times last month that "depending on the game, there are ones where you can play perfectly well with a touch panel." Hirai told the Times that he can see a future where games "use [a touch panel and physical buttons] in combination."
Though a PSP2 launch has been bandied about, it's perhaps just as likely that Sony might unveil the long-rumored PlayStation Phone. Several leaked images and videos have shown the combination smartphone-and-gaming device in action, prompting some to believe it could be announced quite soon. Aside from gaming, the PlayStation Phone is rumored to have a 4-inch touch display and run Android.
Regardless of what Sony unveils in Tokyo later this month, the company must do something to jump-start its ailing portable-gaming business. The company saw PSP unit sales decline by nearly 50 percent in August, the last month NPD reported hardware unit sales figures, selling just 79,400 PSP units. It sold 140,300 PSP units in August 2009.
GameStop said in an interview in November that the PSP was its only "disappointment" in retail during the year.