A PSP redesign is in the works by Sony, which will include a built-in hard drive and no slot for UMDs. Planned as an update for the successful handheld, the new PSP is due to appear sometime in the next three years, according to shacknews.com.
Although a huge range of films have been released on Sony's proprietary Universal Media Disc format, actual sales have failed to impress. Even so, leaving the UMD behind would cause problems for backwards compatibility for the new PSP, although with Sony emphasising its digital distribution strategy - enabling users to download PSone games to PSP, for example - it's not an unsolvable problem.
Above: Price and PSP battery life could explain why UMDs might eventually disappear
As ever, Sony refuses to comment on rumors and speculation, which this will remain until we see actual hardware. But with the PSP selling well, it's all but inevitable that a successor will eventually find its way into our aching hands.
April 11, 2006