New PSP has touch-sensitive controls

Sony showing games to publishers.

Sony's current vision for the next-generation PlayStation Portable is roughly the same size as the PSP-3000 and has touch controls on the reverse of the unit.

According to three separate development sources who have seen and used the new PSP, the screen is rich and detailed but the headline feature is the way games are controlled - by a touch-sensitive area on the back of the unit behind the screen.

Sony is showcasing the unfinished handheld to publishers at the moment using several first-party games and has already settled on its business model for the device, which was not shown to the public at gamescom this week.

One source told us he expects it to launch by the end of 2011, although another was less convinced, believing we won't see anything for at least a couple of years. Sony has not specified when it will release a successor to the current platform.

It's thought that Sony considered a disc-based storage solution for the new PSP, but has since decided against it following developer feedback. Flash media support, similar to the PSPgo, seems most likely.

Sony told Eurogamer it "does not comment on rumour and speculation".

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