A leak today hints that a true second-generation PSP is in development that could have graphics better than the iPhone 3GS and last-generation consoles. The Spanish branch of Eurogamer claims to have internal Sony information that the next handheld will use a PowerVR SGX543MP4 graphics core closely related to the SGX535 found in the iPhone but which should be even faster. Where the chip used by Apple renders a maximum 28 million polygons per second, the PSP’s hardware is a quad-core part and would draw 133 million polygons and allow for much more complicated 3D scenes. While practical tests of this power haven’t been conducted, the difference is such that it’s expected the new Sony handheld could outperform an original Xbox in terms of graphics.
When and with what other features the PSP sequel would ship are unknown, but it’s implied that the overhaul is still in the early stages and may not ship until late 2010 at the earliest. Sony is under pressure to fight back against not only its most obvious competitor in gaming, the Nintendo DSi, but also against Apple; the iPhone and iPod touch even in earlier generations have typically had better performance for gaming than the 2004-era PSP and have seen a relative abundance of games, albeit often casual, launch on the App Store within a year.