PSP2 as powerful as PS3, set for Q4 launch

Sony isn’t going to take Nintendo’s 3DS challenge lying down.

The format-holder is preparing a swift reveal for the true PlayStation Portable successor, due at Christmas. As was reported yesterday, the first announcement is pencilled in for January 27th.

Most importantly: the format-holder is pitching the device as a high-end portable equivalent of its next-gen home console, with rich games content to match.

Sony has told licensees the device ‘is as powerful as the PlayStation 3′.

High-level sources told us they expect Sony to start outlining its 2011 handheld strategy within days of Nintendo events in Amsterdam and New York detailing the 3DS Easter rollout plans.

The new PSP is expected to arrive within the Q4 period, perhaps as early as October, and includes a HD screen with twin-stick controls in the familiar ‘brick’ form factor.

Sony has already consulted publishers about launch timings and the first wave of games.

It is specifically requesting richer, more in-depth content to differentiate its device from app-centric Apple and Android devices.

Plus, securing HD handheld games will help build launch excitement amongst publishers, developers and consumers over the next nine months.

Sony is already plotting to reveal more at GDC and E3 after this month’s first tease.

‘PSP2′ will even use a media format to make sure retail has a part to play in the console’s lifecycle by selling physical software.

But the device will also provide access to plenty of downloadable content, smaller games and apps via PSN – and maybe even incorporate a phone, but not as a primary function.

This next-gen PSP is separate from the games-oriented phone sister division Sony Ericsson is working on, which is due for its formal unveiling at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress in February. That device runs Android and downloaded apps and smaller games, plus potentially older PSone titles.

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