We already have a fair idea what to expect at next month’s E3 – plenty of into about Move, Natal and the 3DS (and Vitality Sensor) for instance – but Sony could perhaps be saving the biggest surprise of all.
MCV has been informed of a significant increase in marketing spend at two key publishers for Q4 2010. At a time when the PSP is languishing in Western markets – and its most recent iteration, the PSPgo, is falling flat – it is being speculated that publishers are laying the ground for an offensive on a brand new iteration of Sony’s handheld.
Another publisher has also told MCV that it is waiting on a specific announcement from the platform holder before it can reveal of its future PSP plans until, though it did allude to the ongoing development of several unnamed titles behind closed doors.
The PSP is currently in its sixth year on the market, and despite having undergone a number of revisions remains largely unchanged from its initial launch.
The exception, of course, is the PSPgo. Sony has never released sales data for the device, though the machine has struggled at retail and the numbers are widely known to be alarmingly low across every major market.
Nintendo will this year launch the successor to the DS, a machine that is also in its sixth year.
Though the PSP has sold better overall than it has ever been credited for, it faces stiffer competition now than at any point in its history. The growing market importance of Apple and its iPhone and iPod Touch has asked serious questions of PSPs multimedia credentials.
A new machine could be the only answer to this challenge.
Note, though, that this story is based on speculation from a senior industry source. As far as we're aware, there's been no official sighting of a new device. When asked by MCV, a Sony spokesperson was very clear in stating that there are no imminent plans to launch a new PSP.
If it does exist, however, don’t expect any news on the device prior to E3 as Sony will be doing everything it possibly can to prevent the sort of leak that soured last year’s PSPgo reveal.