Rumors about the next iteration of the PSP have been picking up steam ever since an Executive Producer at NetherRealm Studios claimed to have a PSP2 dev kit in their studio. There we also leaked pictures of the alleged dev kit that hit the internet this month. Nothing has been confirmed by Sony, however today we have patents filed by the company that further solidify the existence of the PSP2.
Several patents were filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office by SCEA including one that points toward a two-fingered touch system, similar to what most touch smartphones have.
Another patent displays a trackpad on the back of the device, which coresponds with earlier rumors that the PSP2 will have touch controls on the back of the unit.
The success of the iPhone and Nintendo DS made it a no-brainer that Sony would integrate touch controls into their new handheld. It seems Sony is attempting to differenciate themselves from the competition by placing the screen on the back of the device. Having the touch controls on the back would prevent unsightly fingerprints on the screen, and increase its lifespan. This could also prove problematic since many users are used to having their controls on the front of their devices.
It is yet to be confirmed if the PSP2 will have touch controls on the front of the device, though it's highly probable. Also, the device in these patents is made out to look like some type of tablet. These were probably early mock-ups to demonstrate how they wanted the device operate.
There's no release date other than the speculated Fall 2011 launch, however some developers claim to have dev kits in hand and are prepping to create a launch that will rival that of the upcoming 3DS.
Many big name titles are already announced for the 3DS and Sony will have to pull out the big guns for the PSP2 if they plan to be dominant in the handheld market.
Source: Akihabara News