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New PSP to take on iPhone this Christmas?

More rumors surface on the new PSP, with tantalizing details of a sliding touch screen, dual-analog thumbsticks, and an official unveiling in June at E3. Pocket Gamer is already calling it an "iPhone beater." We're not so sure.

It's just a mock-up, but could it be close to the real thing? Eric Jensen

Thanks to a chatty developer, we recently heard and relayed rumors that the next-generation PSP will have a sliding screen. Well, a second mystery developer, who's allegedly "working with the new hardware," has upped the ante: he or she claims Sony's next-gen portable gaming console will actually have a sliding touch screen along with the much-requested, dual-analog thumbsticks.

This all comes from Pocket Gamer, which doesn't name its "insider" source but says, "The new handheld will arrive before Christmas and will be far more similar to the iPhone than the current device." It also claims the new PSP will be announced in June at E3.

Take the rumor for what it's worth, but all the chatter seems to suggest that a new PSP will be a true PSP 2 and not just another incremental upgrade. Pocket Gamer speculates that Sony accelerated development on the new device after the success of the iPhone and the arrival of the Nintendo DSi. There's also continued talk that the new PSP will forgo UMD and instead rely on an expanded PlayStation Store that rivals Apple's App Store (at least in terms of games).

If this all pans out the way the rumors are pointing, I don't think there's any doubt that the PSP will be a better gaming device than the iPhone. The question is, what else will it be capable of doing? As I've said before, if Sony can integrate some of the features found in its Mylo Communicator, things get very interesting. If not, Pocket Gamer probably won't be able to go around calling the new PSP an "iPhone beater."

What do you think?

Source: Pocket Gamer via Kotaku