Sony is preparing to release the true successor to the PlayStation Portable before the end of this year, possibly as early as October.
That's according to a report by retail paper MCV, which suggests Sony is seeking high-end gaming experiences to help distinguish the hardware from current games offerings on mobile and tablet devices.
Reports that Sony was wooing publishers emerged last year during GamesCom, again with chatter of a 2011 release.
The PSP 2 is expected to be similar to the original PSP rather than the PSPgo, supporting physical as well as digital media and Flash storage.
Prototype hardware is said to feature a touch-sensitive panel at the back of the console, along with more traditional handheld controls.
An official reveal of the PSP 2 is expected on January 27, just ahead of the release of Nintendo's 3DS in Japan the following month.