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Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. is rumoured to demonstrate a new version of its PlayStation Portable handheld video game at E3 video games trade-show in early June. The new device will reportedly not feature universal media disc (UMD) support, but will offer some new features.

The revamped Sony PSP will ditch UMD media, but will feature a built-in 8GB or 16GB flash drive for storing games on board of the console, reports 1UP web-site. The design of the new PlayStation Portable will also be considerably dissimilar from the available system: game controls will be located on a special sliding keypad beneath the screen. Since the new PSP will be dramatically different, albeit it is not projected to be Sony’s second-generation portable console, it is also expected to get a new name: PlayStation Portable Go!

The lack of UMD in the new PlayStation Portable will mark a milestone for Sony and will force the company to transit to digital distribution of video games, movies, music, etc. for the PSP. It is rumoured that Sony will have 100 games available for download for the new PSP Go! at the launch. Nevertheless, iit remains to be seen how Sony plans to substitute the lack of UMD support (each UMD can carry 900MB - 1800MB of data) with 8GB or 16GB internal flash drive.

Since the refresh of the PlayStation Portable will heavily rely on network-based services, it is also likely that the novelty get some additional features to better serve as a mobile Internet device.

The system is set for release in Japan this September with a U.S. debut coming in either late October or early November, according to the media report.

Earlier this year rumours transpired that Sony planned to release code-named PSP-4000 system in 2009, but no details were available.

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. did not comment on the news-story.

Tags: Sony, PlayStation Portable, Playstation

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