After rumors surfaced last week that the next-generation PSP would do away with the UMD optical drive in favor of direct downloads to flash memory via the PlayStation Network, Eurogamer is reporting something similar and adding a new twist to the mix: the new PSP will have a "sliding screen" and will feature a more compact, narrower design.
In typical fashion, this is all according to an anonymous "development source close to Sony," so take it for what it's worth. Said source claims that the next PSP--it may be called the PSP 4000 rather than the PSP 2--will allow you to play games using only the shoulder buttons while the sliding screen is in its closed position. Apparently, most of the controls will be inaccessible when the screen is closed.
The Eurogamer article notes, "The screen is basically the same as the one in the PSP 3000--except it slides."
Personally, I don't care much about playing LocoRoco style games; rather, I'm hoping that underneath that screen there will be a keyboard along the requisite PSP gaming buttons. I've been begging Sony for a couple of years to marry its Mylo Communicator and the PSP into one highly versatile unit, but alas, the chatter doesn't include any talk of a keyboard.
As always, feel free to comment.