Thanks to information from its anonymous sources, Eurogamer is reporting the next generation of the PlayStation Portable (PSP) will feature a sliding screen and abandon the UMD proprietary format. Eurogamer first reported on the possibility of a new PSP late last year and a continuous stream of rumors confirming this rumor emerged this year.
Other sources such as Acclaim developer David Perry have been quoted making similar announcements on his Twitter and Facebook accounts stating, "I hear Sony FINALLY has the PSP 2. And thank goodness, they've removed the stupid battery-sucking UMD disc drive. I'm excited!" Perry later confirmed his statements in an interview with Kotaku.
According to Eurogamer's sources, "The screen is basically the same as the one in the 3000 - except it slides." When 'closed', the screen won't cover the entire face of the console, and the unit will be "significantly smaller in width." Images of what the new PSP may look like are available here on VG247.
In addition to the sliding screen and the loss of the UMD drive, the new PSP will allow shoulder button-only games to be played when the screen is in its closed position. With the console in its closed state, most controls will be inaccessible, but games that use the shoulder buttons exclusively such as LocoRoco will be playable. It is expected that the unit can also be used for media playback in this configuration.
Eurogamer has also been told that Sony is approaching developers for ideas for games that only require the shoulder buttons. When asked to comment on the rumors Sony stated they do not comment on rumor or speculation.