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By 8 December 2010 | Categories: news

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During the past few months rumours have been rife regarding Sony's next leap into the handheld market in the form of its PSP 2 handheld gaming device. Now, thanks to IGN, a lot of the device's secrets have finally been revealed to the world.

According to its source, which IGN cites as a person with "direct hands-on experience" with the device, the PSP 2 will keep to the existing PSP's slider design, but with an increased size and larger display, now also touch-enabled.
 
The device will also forgo the original PSP's UMD drive,  and will run downloadable or expandable memory-based games only, just like the PSP Go. In a move mimicking that of Nintendo with its 3DS, the PSP 2 will also feature front and rear cameras, presumably for pictures, video recording, video chat or even forays into augmented reality.
 
In a more original move the PSP 2 will also be equipped with a rear-mounted touch panel which boasts a smooth glass-like surface. This back panel will presumably be used in the same way as analog controls are, as well as supporting other gesture-based commands.
 
The juiciest reveal of all comes in the form of the PSP 2's graphics though. Apparently the handheld will pack enough processing power to produce games graphically on par with early PlayStation 3 (PS3) games. No specific details such as clock speed were revealed, but it is speculated that the device is just over half as powerful as Sony's flagship console.
 
The device may not be quite as strong as the PS3 but according to IGN's source it should be able to play games in comparable quality since it is rendering to a smaller display than the full 1080p HDTV's the PS3 has to deal with.
 
It was also revealed that Sony could potentially aim to allow cross-platform play between PS3 and PSP 2 titles. This means that players would be able to play a game on their PS3 at home and continue playing the same game on their PSP 2 while they're on the move.
 
No details yet as to pricing or release dates, but it is expected that Sony will officially unveil the device at E3 2011. We'll be eagerly awaiting new details from Sony's handheld stable, although at this stage Nintendo seems to be enjoying quite a sizable head start, with its Nintendo 3DS shipping worldwide in the first quarter of 2011.
 
Courtesy of VG247, we present you with this first grainy image of what the PSP 2 will actually look like. 
 

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