By Richard Menta 4/23/09
Is a replacement for the Sony PSP in the works? The rumor mill says one is on the way.
When we reviewed the Sony PSP almost four years ago it was not only an excellent game player, but the best portable media player to appear up to that time. So good was the unit that it held that lofty position until the iPod touch appeared in the fall of 2007. Even today, the Sony PSP is a fine portable, holding its own respectably against even the best touchscreen units.
Despite updates, which saw the introduction of the PSP 3000 last August, sales of the unit have slipped sharply. So much so that company executives have resorted to the egregious argument of blaming piracy as the sole reason for mediocre sales (an issue which somehow doesn't seem to hamper the PSP's lead competitors the Nintendo DS and the iPod touch/iPhone).
Sony certainly does not want to give up its footing in the portable game player market, particularly when you consider the success Sony achieved when the PSP first hit the market. Increased competition validates the need for a complete makeover of the system. So is one really coming? We don't know.
That said, we can't say if the photo on the right is a legit successor to the PlayStation Portable or just a fan mockup. What we can say is that the photo looks really compelling, mostly because it shrinks the footprint of the unit to something that fits better into a pocket.
If this is the new Sony portable we should hear more about it in the fall as the holiday season winds into gear.