PSP 2: Will the next Sony handheld be powered by 3G?

PSP 2, the purported successor to Sony's popular PSP gaming device, could get a 3G antenna.

PSP 2 to be 3G powered? At least one outlet says yes. At left, the Sony PSP handheld gaming device.

Last time we heard a burst of buzz about the Sony PSP 2, the (presumably) forthcoming device was circulating through of the offices of a top video game developer. Now comes news that the PSP 2, which will replace the aging Sony PSP device, could get a juiced-up processor, an OLED screen, and a 3G antenna, allowing users to get online even if they're far from a Wi-Fi connection.

According to the Japanese paper Nikkei – hat tip to PC World for translating the original report – the PSP 2 will utilize the same kind of Cell chip as the PlayStation 3, and come equipped with a big old OLED display. As PC World notes, Sony has a big event scheduled in Japan this week, and odds are pretty good that we're going to see some sort of PSP 2 roll-out.

The big question for this blogger is how Sony will handle the 3G stuff. 3G, after all, ain't free – to hook up to a 3G connection, you need to have a data plan with a service provider such as AT&T or Verizon. Nikkei apparently didn't delve into how the PSP 2 would be powered, but let's say (conservatively), that users will be able to sign up for some sort of $10 a month contract.

That contract might be worth it if you download a lot of content – as an increasing amount of gamers are doing these days. But what if you're a serious techie, and you already pay sizable costs for a data plan for your iPhone (or Droid) and iPad (or Samsung Galaxy Tab). Are you really going to want to pay an extra chunk of change to sign online through your PSP 2? Imagine all that bill juggling! Or don't.

Maybe we're wrong. Kindle has a free 3G connection. Would you sign up for a data plan for your handheld gaming device?

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