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Is this the new PSP 2, or a badly photoshopped PlayStation phone?

With only a few days to go until the next PSP handheld is set to be revealed, photos have appeared that seem to show the new handheld. But are they dodgy mock-ups?

The Internet has been getting its knickers in a twist over supposed leaked photos of the PSP 2 -- the follow up to Sony's mildly popular PSP handheld. But is this a real shot of the new PSP? Or a clumsy photoshop of the also-rumoured PlayStation Phone?

First published on Kotaku Japan, it's up to you to make up your mind about its authenticity, but we're pretty sceptical for a couple of reasons. Firstly, as has been pointed out by a couple of sites, the Memory Stick in the picture above looks like an old design. And a stylus? Seriously Sony, if you lumber us with a stylus we'll never forgive you. Only Nintendo has the chops to pull off that kind of jurassic touchscreen chicanery.

As Kotaku US  points out, making the leaked photo look like something that came off a press handout is a neat trick, and means the photo can feasibly be a photoshop-hiding lower resolution without sounding alarm bells. We've seen our fair share of press handouts, and we'd be surprised if this is an official Sony-sanctioned document -- it makes the PSP 2 look about as exciting as eating a pound of mashed-up Dundee cake.

On the other hand, we're only days away from a Sony announcement that will probably be the big reveal of the PSP 2, so it's plausible that handouts are being printed up in readiness. It also means we only have a couple of days to wait before we find out the truth. To be honest, we can't see that the real thing will be much different to this. A second thumbstick for proper 3D control is definitely number one on our requirements list for this handheld sequel.

If this is a 'shop (we can tell from some of the pixels), it's likely that it came out of the leaked photos of the PlayStation Phone that popped up in October.

We're expecting to see that particular handset make an appearance at Mobile World Congress in February, so expect all these crazy rumours to be tied up within a few weeks.

What do you think? A sneaky leak or some rubbish photoshopping? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.