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New PSP will have a sliding screen

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.  

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By afkrotch on 3/3/2009 8:40:02 AM , Rating: 2
I really don't mind the UMDs. Granted, a memory stick can now hold a hell of a lot more data than a UMD, so it makes sense. I don't know about a sliding screen though. I'd prefer a flipover, as then your screen gets protection.

By omnicronx on 3/3/2009 8:46:47 AM , Rating: 5
I don't know about a sliding screen though.
Sliding screens are a lot less durable. Yes it has the cool factor but are they expecting kids and young teens not to break them? Sometimes I wonder what goes through their heads..

By Alexstarfire on 3/3/2009 9:00:50 AM , Rating: 5
Or maybe they want it to break so they have to buy a new one. I really wouldn't put it past Sony.

So, if no more UMD then what are they going to use? Didn't see anything mentioned in the article.

By omnicronx on 3/3/2009 9:03:45 AM , Rating: 4
So, if no more UMD then what are they going to use? Didn't see anything mentioned in the article.
Ya i was thinking the same thing haha. I wonder if they will replace it with another proprietary format, or they will be smart this time and use either some kind of flash card or mini-BD.

By Alexstarfire on 3/3/2009 10:31:50 AM , Rating: 3
I fail to see how mini-bd would be any improvement what-so-ever as it seems like the reason they are getting rid of the UMD isn't because of space, but because of how much power it takes up. Mini-BD would be insanely expensive, probably use more power, and make games far more expensive. Extra space seems very useless for a portable since there is a small screen, ie small resolution, and lower hardware specs than a console.

By afkrotch on 3/3/2009 12:39:31 PM , Rating: 3
Mini-BD can also reduce power usage. As more data is crammed onto the disc, you don't need to have as high an rpm to transfer the same amount of data as a UMD.

Course any power savings from reduced motor speed is probably negated by the increased power usage from the blu-ray laser.

If they did go UMD-less, I'd assume a 2nd memory slot would be added. One slot to go towards your saves, pictures, other random content. The other slot would be for your games.

I'd rather see just one slot for games and put in an internal 1.8" hdd.

By omnicronx on 3/3/2009 2:48:38 PM , Rating: 3
Mini-BD would use much less power than UMD because of the nature of BD, just like a normal BD-ROM, it does not have to spin as fast as normals DVD's. I also disagree about price, currently Sony (or whomever they buy from) has to have a factory specifically for UVD's. Well mini-BD is already used in camcorders and is essentially the same as BD, there is no reason why they cannot ramp up production at existing plants, or even modify BD lines to make mini-BD's.

Even when comparing towards a flash medium, the disc itself would be cheaper than any flash device. BD lasers have also dramatically dropped in price, and they would not have to continue making lasers for only the PSP.(which could also save money)
Extra space seems very useless for a portable since there is a small screen, ie small resolution, and lower hardware specs than a console.
Yet insanely smart if they want to go the same route as UVD with selling movies. 7.5G is enough to pack an entire DVD onto a disc. No more having to author two different DVD's. I also see no reason why it would make games more expensive, and as I have explained there is no reason why mini-BD discs by themselves will be more expensive. The only thing would be more expensive is the blue laser diode.

By Alexstarfire on 3/4/2009 12:15:56 AM , Rating: 2
Well, mini-BD has to be more expensive than UMD, blue laser diode has to be more expensive than red. Can't say much about flash since they may not go that route, though it seems likely. I'm comparing this mini-BD to the UMD it has now. I don't have any power figures, but even though it may have to spin slower for the mini-BD the blue laser diode uses more power than the red. Could negate any benefits. Flash would lower that to near zero, making it a far better choice.

I can't say much about movies for the PSP since I thought it was a very stupid idea anyways. Unless you could play these mini-BD in blu-ray players, which actually doesn't sound to difficult, then it might be all right. With UMD you would need to buy the movie for the PSP then again for your DVD player. Seemed like a stupid thing to do.

If you can prove that mini-DB discs wouldn't be more expensive then I might believe some of your other information. Even though they might use the old factories to make stuff for the new PSP.... it's not going to change the cost nearly enough. That's why Blu-Ray movies are more expensive than DVDs and why Blu-Ray players are more expensive than DVD players.

By Alpha4 on 3/3/2009 10:54:57 AM , Rating: 2
Mini-BD! I like the way you think.

The Mini BD-r that Verbatim manufactures weigh in at 7.5gb/layer. It would be very interesting to see PS3 content released on Mini-BDs. Maybe for demos or trailer compilations.

By Chocobollz on 3/3/2009 2:08:47 PM , Rating: 2
The answer is easy.. Memory Stick!!! (Damn I hate Memory Stick LOL)

By rudy on 3/3/2009 10:05:22 AM , Rating: 2
This is exactly the issue, companies which make really durable products have a hard time staying in business because their products are priced higher and last longer so customers do not return. Sony is betting on the games not the durability of the product to sell units.

By neothe0ne on 3/3/09, Rating: 0
By TheDoc9 on 3/3/2009 11:37:00 AM , Rating: 2
Sony traditionally has the worst hardware...? Links please.

By zombiexl on 3/3/2009 11:59:58 AM , Rating: 2
I think it would make more sense if said like this..

Sony traditionally overhype's the power of their hardware. Not sure if that applies to the PS3, except for maybe the video card.

By MarcLeFou on 3/3/2009 1:03:07 PM , Rating: 2
Just think about lenses and controllers.

Out of the 10 or so people I know who owned PS2, I don't think I know a single whose controller did not break. And none of them were heavy gamers either, quite the opposite. I, myself, had 2 controllers out of ... 2 break one me (one is holding with tape!).

Sony had a lot going for them with the PS2, but quality wasn't one of the reasons they were winning for sure!

By Totally on 3/3/2009 1:39:40 PM , Rating: 2
Hint to you and your ten or so friends: Don't drop the controllers or electronics in general, they kinda break when that happens.

The controllers did have many points of failure but they did not break easy, I couldn't begin to count how many n64 controllers i had to replace when i still played. I think the only console to have a controller that was better in quality than any other was the original NES, followed by the Super.

They lens debacle could have been avoided I got burnt myself on that one, PITA, to adjust the laser in the PS2 every once in a while, to the point where I didn't bother screwing it back together.

By afkrotch on 3/3/2009 2:16:55 PM , Rating: 2
If your controller needs tape, sounds like you dropped it a bunch.

I've got the original PS2 (I think 3rd revision) with an original controller. Works great. I of course bought a bunch more controllers and quad tap to go with it. They also still work.

If you don't drop your controller, the only thing I can think of that would break on it is a button stops working or you trip over the cord a lot and had to tape the cord to the controller housing.

No console is without flaws on release though. PS2 had them. PS3 had them. Wii had them. Xbox 360 was just a design flaw.

By MarcLeFou on 3/3/2009 3:55:08 PM , Rating: 2
Actually I'm fairly carefull with them.

One button stayed permaently stuck in the "On" position (triangle) so that broke my first one.

For the other one, the plastic tab holding the shoulder button to the casing broke so I had to tape the shoulder button to the top of the controller.

Still useable but ... yeah.

I do agree original NES controllers were a beast but MS's controllers also feel really solid. None of my S type controllers for the original xbox or the 360 wireless feel like they've seen any use and they've been played quite a bit.

As for my buddies I can't say what usage they make out of it but we're not 14 years old kids anymore so I'd wager they were fairly careful. You can,t tell me they don't feel cheap compared to the xbox controllers.

Heck even my N64 controllers saw ALOT of use back then and they both stood the test of time well until I sold it.

By rdeegvainl on 3/3/2009 4:20:27 PM , Rating: 2
hmmm.... that is the EXACT opposite of my experience. All my PS controllers have worked wonderfully, and never failed. But any N64 controller I ever saw, had problems.

You see, this is anecdotal, and doesn't mean a thing really, and is why people ask for supporting data.

And yes, I can say PS controllers don't feel cheap compared to xbox contollers

By afkrotch on 3/4/2009 12:25:50 PM , Rating: 2
I think they all feel cheap. It's a piece of plastic with plastic buttons, and more plastic crap inside. Plastic itself is cheap, that's why these companies use it.

It's really all about perception. Because MS's controllers are big and heavy, you assume they feel solid. Reverse that to the PS2/PS3 controllers, which are small and somewhat light, so the assumption is that they are flimsy.

I don't find this to be the case with either of them. They are both build pretty solid and both can stand multiple droppings. I drop them a lot.

I only have one broken controller. My old PS3 sixaxis. That was thanks to United Airlines though. Also chipped my PS3 a little too. Nothing really broke on the controller. There's a crack on the upper right-hand corner of the controller and the R2 trigger doesn't have a noticeable pop up. Like when you press the trigger it springs right back up. It doesn't spring back up with authority anymore. Works fine though.

N64 controller. God that thing was a piece of crap. I always had problems with the middle analog stick. That thing always broke.

By Alexstarfire on 3/4/2009 12:26:07 AM , Rating: 2
Out of curiosity, what problems did the Wii have other than the first update which had a small chance of bricking it? Only read that though, neither me or anyone I know had that happen.

I've had a lot of controllers break... and that's because they took a lot of abuse. Nintendo controllers can take a lot of damage before becoming unusable. The N64 controllers are surprisingly robust, which is probably because it has some empty space in it. Wii controllers actually break kinda easily if it takes a beating. N64 controllers have the notorious problem of the analog stick wearing down.

By afkrotch on 3/4/2009 12:51:41 PM , Rating: 2
Wii problems on release were things like disc read errors, controllers not syncing, GCube controllers not working on it, video output issues, etc. It was a small minority, so probably just issues with manufacturing or poor handling during shipping to the store. The standard 3% or less.

The same kind of thing that happens to every console when it's released.

I'd say the only issue that every single Wii owner has is the flaws with the controller design. Like the sun, christmas lights, etc interfering with the sensor bar.

Probably more of a non-issue, as you wouldn't have the sun beaming down on your TV while you play. You know...where most ppl put their sensor bar.

By Totally on 3/3/2009 1:47:27 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not gonna complain, the current psp's screen is also exposed. You're wondering what goes through their head? While your at figure out what's going through the heads of Apple, HTC, Samsung and any other company that makes a product with an exposed screen.

I'm happy it's not going to be a chunky this time around. I read that the games for the psp2, were digital distribution only through PSN.

By afkrotch on 3/3/2009 2:31:00 PM , Rating: 2
Difference between a non-moveable screen and one that would slide. You can put a casing around the non-moveable. When it slides, you have no options for that. At least with a flipover, it protects itself.

By omnicronx on 3/3/2009 2:59:02 PM , Rating: 2
You're wondering what goes through their head? While your at figure out what's going through the heads of Apple, HTC, Samsung and any other company that makes a product with an exposed screen.
I was not complaining about the exposed screen, I have a PSP and the build quality is great, I just use a protector.

Its the flip screen itself that worries me, which in some way or another relies on a hinge to keep the two parts together. You can't forget the primary usage is for games, kids are going to have these things. If you can't drop it on the couch without having to worry, that's a major design flaw.

Apple doesn't have a flip screen, HTC has only ever made one phone with a flip that is actually durable (Apache) and as far as I know, Samsung doesn't make one either. Don't forget the screen size is also considerably larger than a cell phone, which in turn means it will stick out further and be more likely to break if dropped, or mishandled.

By Alexstarfire on 3/4/2009 12:36:15 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, because throwing a PSP on a couch is a great idea to begin with. Don't think a screen protector is going to protect it from a metal hammer. On the other hand, a flip screen won't break if it lands on a hammer. Granted the case may not come out so well, but that's all aesthetic.

At least in the case of the DS, it's actually quite robust. After throwing it on a hardwood floor as hard as I could it failed to result in a broken screen or DS. Part of the hinge did break, but the hinge still worked. Couple more blows finally broke it in two.

Yea, I can be a violent gamer. Short of physically trying to break it you're probably not going to do serious damage to a DS. Might work out that way with a flip screen PSP as well. Cause the PSP now would so just smash into bits if thrown on a hardwood floor.

By inperfectdarkness on 3/3/2009 8:13:11 PM , Rating: 2
sony is years behind nintendo in product testing--as is microsoft, appearently.

the GBA:sp was a perfect handheld. the DS only improved upon it. meanwhile, we have the PSP going through growing pains...and the xbox RROD.

one more reason i love nintendo so much. no company has PERFECT product testing--but nintendo's is damn close.

By afkrotch on 3/4/2009 1:03:20 PM , Rating: 2
Explain the growing pains of the PSP. I have a PSP-1001. No issues to date. Now from the day I bought it, to present, they add more and more features onto it for me to tinker with.

There's also expansion peripherals to use, which I don't or can't. Camera, GPS, Talkman, 1Seg TV tuner, Skype Headset, video output cables, and the slew of other crap from different companies. If I could use the 1Seg I'd already have it.

By tastyratz on 3/3/2009 9:28:08 AM , Rating: 2
a clamshell would be more durable, but less functional.

A sliding screen isn't just for the cool factor here, it serves a purpose. It allows the device to operate in a more compact mode AS WELL as save space for portability.

Just get a stick on screen scratch protector for a dollar and you will have all the durability you need. For something thin and fragile to begin with if you were going to hit the screen hard it wouldn't matter if you hit it from the front or the back.

By Aloonatic on 3/3/2009 10:49:05 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed, the sliding screen offers maximum viewing space when closed up for portable video viewing and the whole thing looks slim enough to be a able to cope with the extra bulk of a carry case when not in use.

The controls on the other hand look like they will be immensely uncomfortable.

Could they not have made it slid out of the side? The traditional side hold that the PSP currently has is more comfortable in my experience. Although there's twice as much to go wrong that way of course :-s even then, it would still be just too square and thin to be comfy.

By afkrotch on 3/3/2009 12:51:03 PM , Rating: 2
Ever see a flip phone that you can turn the screen inside out?

UMD replaced with Memory Stick?
By Suomynona on 3/3/2009 9:09:18 AM , Rating: 4
Going from one proprietary format to another is hardly progress...

RE: UMD replaced with Memory Stick?
By ViRGE on 3/3/2009 9:25:11 AM , Rating: 2
Games won't be on FlashROM, it's too expensive. They'd have to go the DS route, good old-fashioned mask ROMs.

RE: UMD replaced with Memory Stick?
By BansheeX on 3/3/2009 1:30:03 PM , Rating: 2
Umm, aren't DS cartridges proprietary, too? They fit the definition perfectly, they are designed for Nintendo hardware only. Besides, memory sticks are storage/transfer format and can written to. The content isn't going to be distributed on the sticks. You're going to download the games, and put the ones you want to play on the stick, I presume. I suppose the PSP2 could come with built in memory, but that would be kind of pointless because you wouldn't be able to upgrade it like a removable stick.

RE: UMD replaced with Memory Stick?
By afkrotch on 3/4/2009 1:04:54 PM , Rating: 2
Unless they use a 1.8" hdd and allow it to be user replaceable. That would rock.

By WTFiSJuiCE on 3/4/2009 7:33:08 PM , Rating: 2
If Sony included the ability to incoporate a 1.8" hdd, they'd probably leave the actual hdd out and have you purchase it separately in the interest of extra profits like they did with the PS2.

I hope they improve on the functionality of the remote play feature as I have a lot of trouble connecting with my ps3 and maintaining a stable link between the two despite being close or far away from it. Could be my network but I dunno.

By hadifa on 3/3/2009 4:02:10 PM , Rating: 2
I guess they are thinking about downloadable and encrypted content on your PSP2

Open format is the best but proprietary or not, it is progress. Faster operation, no shaking, lower battery usage, higher flexibility, mobility and better management of having multiple games on one medium.

And not to mention that, for Sony, the downloadable content will cut the middleman (retailers), increases the profit and might lower the price.

It all depends on how they implement it and Sony's track record is not that bright!

According to the link in the article...
By johnbuk on 3/3/2009 9:06:58 AM , Rating: 2
At that site sited in this article:
"PSP-4000 is not PSP2, but rather a “complete aesthetic overhaul” based on existing PSP tech."
It doesn't mention anything about the UMD drive being discontinued, only that the new version will have a sliding screen.

Meh. I still get a lot of use out of my original PSP. Not gonna buy a new model just because it looks different. Might be interested in the PSP2 if one ever gets released provided it provides something more then just a few aeshetic upgrades.

I'm also not big on the trend of smaller when it comes to handheld video game systems. A bigger screen and a system that is more comfortable to hold are preferable to something that I could mistake for a business card.

RE: According to the link in the article...
By Hiawa23 on 3/3/2009 10:05:41 AM , Rating: 2
I still have my original model that has worked fine so I can't see buying the same PSP, like many other, ala 2000,3000 models, when the only issue I have is that the PSP doesn't have 2 analog nubs. There is noway Sony would release a PSP4000 & remove UMD, as all the other models & their games would be useless. I can see Sony getting rid of the UMD drive for the PSP2, but not a PSP4000 model.

By Alpha4 on 3/3/2009 11:19:57 AM , Rating: 2
Logistics aside, it would be neat to see a modular UMD reader that clips onto a new PSP.

RE: According to the link in the article...
By afkrotch on 3/4/2009 1:08:50 PM , Rating: 2
Sony won't put 2 analog nubs on the PSP, since it'd make it unstable during gaming. Ppl would drop them left and right. I can't imagine a small sleak design would ever allow you to have 2 analog nubs.

They should just take the PS2/PS3 controller, add a flip up screen, and then call it a day. I wouldn't mind my PSP being like that. Sure, won't fit my pocket all that great. Whenever I have my PSP. I have my bag with me.

By WTFiSJuiCE on 3/4/2009 7:40:34 PM , Rating: 2
That sounds eerily similar to my old dreamcast controller...minus the sleek design part.

Well I guess it could be called sleek for 1999...

Could it be a phone too?
By omgwtf8888 on 3/4/2009 11:08:14 AM , Rating: 2
Im thinking the sliding screen gives it a sort of touch screen look. This would truly be cool if it was a phone, portable game console, throw in a web browser, and the ability to watch movies/TV.

One device to rule them all!

RE: Could it be a phone too?
By afkrotch on 3/4/2009 1:30:52 PM , Rating: 2
This would truly be cool if it was a phone, portable game console, throw in a web browser, and the ability to watch movies/TV.

PSP - Has Skype for phone
PSP - plays games and is portable
PSP - has built-in web browser
PSP - allows you to play a few vid formats
PSP (Japan Only) - gets 1Seg attachment, to watch TV.

1Seg attachment

Also you can do like me. My PS3 can play vids/music/pics off my file server. It's also connected to the net. On a weekend trip, I haul along my PSP. Find a nice wifi location and connect up to my PS3 and the content it can get off my file server.

If there's a movie or something that I want to watch, but the PS3 can't play it. No prob. Find an internet cafe, then I VNC into my home comp, reencode it, viola. Back to business. A reencode doesn't take all that long.

RE: Could it be a phone too?
By johnbuk on 3/4/2009 5:17:00 PM , Rating: 2
You can also use a PSP to watch TV either wirelessly (around the house) or wireless via an internet connection (when traveling). All it requires is cable or satellite TV and a Sony LocationFree base station (hooked up to your home network).

I use it regularly when traveling. Not ideal for watching TV, but it's a lot better than nothing when wanting to watch a game that isn't available in an airport or on the hotel cable.

Proprietary again bites the dust.
By A Stoner on 3/3/2009 10:16:32 AM , Rating: 1
These crappy companies, like Sony, who think that they are so awesome that they can corner a market using proprietary technology should have learned from this and other disasters that they proprietary means lower sales. My wife wanted a new cell phone, it's memory slot was sony proprietary, we got her a different phone. I wanted a new camera, several versions used proprietary compression, I got a different camera, and this list goes on and on and on. If it locks me out of using better methods, specifically less expensive and better methods, then I will refuse to buy the proprietary model. Movies are not proprietary, they are universal, and should be able to be played on more than one device. Sony loses another fight with the consumer. I hope someday the flocks of sheep and the herds of cows finally wake up and decide to stop buying crappy Sony devices.

By Alexstarfire on 3/3/2009 10:43:08 AM , Rating: 2
Sadly many times the good can outweigh the proprietary format. When I was looking for a cell phone I could use on the AT&T network I was looking for at least a 3.2 MP camera with great MP3 player capabilities and was less than $300. Try as I might I could not find a non-Sony phone that fit this bill. This was two years ago mind you.

By afkrotch on 3/3/2009 1:21:37 PM , Rating: 2
I personally don't mine. Less random memory sticks I have laying around. Right now I use a memory stick pro duo (or whatever it's called). Works with my PS3, PSP, Sony eBook, and Sony camera.

I use to use CF on my Canon camera, a spare SD for my eBook, and the PSP of course on memory stick.

I prefer the memory stick, as it has a higher transfer rate.

Sony Designs
By Zensen on 3/3/2009 1:10:39 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about the rest of you but I think sony has hired some brilliant designers as of late. just look at the xperia and the new sony mp3 player..

I'm looking forward to the unveiling. Don't really care about touch screens but would like to see two thumbsticks in there plus a battery boost would help considering they seem to be discarding the UMD drive.

"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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