Next PSP to have touch-sensitive controls?

Sony will launch a new version of its PSP handheld console - the PSP-3000 with touch sensitive controls - sources familiar with the matter are revealing.

Eurogamer.net is claiming three separate development sources, who have seen and used the new PSP, say the console is controlled "by a touch-sensitive area behind the screen".

According to the site, "Sony is showcasing the unfinished handheld to publishers at the moment using several first-party games and has already settled on its business model for the device, which was not shown to the public at gamescom this week".

But before you get too excited, the new games console isn't expected to be launching until the end of 2011 with another saying it would be even longer than that.

It's not clear from the article if that means a touch sensitive capacitive screen or technology that works in a similar way to Motorola's BlackFlip phone, first announced at CES in January, that sees a touch sensitive sensor on the back of the handset as well as the front.

It's also similar to prototype technology from Synaptics, the company that make most of the world's trackpads, that has been shown in a prototype device created by British company Alloy.

Sony told Eurogamer it, "does not comment on rumour and speculation".

Could Sony be working on a touch sensitive friendly PSP? Should the technology already be included? Let us know what you think in the comments below.