PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 February, 2011, 12:00am

Here's something to look forward to this year. Last week, Sony unveiled the next generation of its portable gaming console. Launched under the codename Next Generation Portable, the next version of the PSP, or the PSP2 - as many call it - is expected to hit stores later this year.

While the PSP2 keeps the basic layout and design of the first generation model, the PSP2 comes with a slightly bigger display (5-inch vs 4.3-inch), which offers twice the resolution (960x544 pixels) and is also touch-enabled for onscreen gaming.

The PSP2 will also feature a 4-core ARM Cortex A9 processor, plus a separate graphics processor, SGX543MP4, making it as powerful as today's PlayStation 3 consoles, Sony said.

Sony has also added 3G connectivity on top of Wi-fi to the PSP2, as well as built-in GPS for location-based information. There are also both front and rear-facing cameras.

The controls look pretty much the same as the current PSP, but the new model will include tilt sensitivity and will feature a touchpad on the rear of the device that allows gamers to manipulate in-game objects and scenes with their fingers.

By combining 3G's always-on ability and GPS, one of the cool features of the PSP2 is simply called Near, which finds fellow PSP2 users in your vicinity and what games they have playing.

So far, no pricing information has been release for the PSP2.

Pros: powerful processor, dedicated graphics chip, GPS, 3G connectivity, high-resolution touch screen

Cons: it doesn't look like it will make phone calls, will need a separate mobile phone account