Days before the high-profile January 27 PlayStation Meeting at Sony Japan, at which the PSP2 is expected to be revealed, the rumormill is engaging top gear: the console will incorporate 3G technology, enabling it to compete with smartphones' connectivity. Or will it?
The article on the Nikkei business news website proposed that the 3G connection, to be provided in Japan by mobile corp NTT DoCoMo, will allow PSP2 owners to play online wherever there's a DoCoMo signal.
However, the PSP2's 3G capabilities would be restricted to data only - no voice calls. The extent to which it's locked in to the PlayStation Network remains to be seen.
Nikkei later indicated that the 3G spec was in fact related to the Xperia Play, a Sony mobile phone that has been dubbed the "PlayStation Phone."
Nevertheless, with strict non-disclosure agreements preventing developers from speaking candidly about their experiences with the PSP2, interest remains high concerning Sony's next move: while the technically advanced PSP was certainly a hit in Japan, it was outsold by the Nintendo DS on home turf and even more so overseas.
The PlayStation Meeting on Thursday 27 (3pm Japan time, 7am CET) is an opportunity for Sony to knock Nintendo's momentum ahead of the Nintendo 3DS' Japanese launch on February 26.
The 3D handheld, whose effect works without the need for special glasses, is set for European retail on March 25 and in North America on March 27.