updated 10:55 pm EST, Sun November 28, 2010
Sony patents hint at PSP2 back touchpad
Sony's US gaming division, SCEA, has filed for seven USPTO patents (one, two, three, four, five, six, seven) that hint at the company's plans for a PSP2. While some only indirectly support past leaks with reference to a touchscreen UI with multi-touch ("two-fingered touch" in the first patent) and a predictive layout (two, four and six), virtually all make reference to having a touch surface distinct from the screen that could be used to steer content without interruption. Many share the same diagrams and show both the "track back touch pad" and, in some drawings, a slider design reminiscent of the PSP2 prototype.
The patents appear to cover multiple possible design iterations and could allow for a one-piece slate or a notebook-style clamshell. The same leak that showed an early PSP2 prototype mentioned that Sony had dropped the PSP Go-style slider due to overheating problems and went with one superficially like the original PSP. Little else is revealed about the game console, although the patent suggests that multi-touch would be used both for zooming and for selecting an area, much as a mouse can be used to click-and-drag in a photo editor.
The patents aren't necessarily indicative of Sony's final plans, but the existence of the prototype hinted that Sony was using at least some of the patents as a template for its final goals. The PSP2 is rumored to be as fast as an Xbox 360 and could ship in late 2011. [via PlayStation Lifestyle]