Not content with seeing rival Nintendo steal thunder with its recently unveiled 3DS handheld (launch coverage, info, games) that boasts two 3D displays that needn’t special glasses, Sony is apparently slated to announce the PSP 2 this week, a highly anticipated successor to the PSP, the company’s six years old handheld that sold 62 million units worldwide as of September of last year.

This piece of information came from a credible source, Japanese newspaper The Nikkei, which wrote on Monday the Japanese consumer electronics powerhouse would hold a media event this coming Thursday in Tokyo. Conveniently named the PlayStation Meeting, it’ll allegedly serve as a launchpad for a rumored PlayStation Portable 2, or PSP 2, the newspaper reported.

The publication also added some interesting tidbits of previously unknown information. For one, the handheld should feature an OLED touchscreen described as being larger than the 4.3-inch display on the PSP. A larger display with bright colors and deep blacks on the PSP 3 should help Sony counter glass-less 3D display technology on the Nintendo 3DS. Also helping the PSP 2 will be a new processor described as "powerful enough to display HD images."

Additionally, the PSP 2 will also sport 3G circuitry, allegedly in cooperation with Japan’s NTT Docomo carrier. Even though 3G connectivity won’t be used for phone calls (at least initially), the paper reported, it will let gamers download games, updates and movies on the go. And when can you get your hands on PSP 2, you ask? According to sources, it’s due by the year’s end in Japan and it’ll probably cost more than the PSP due to a higher cost of components, such as a higher-quality OLED display and an improved processor.

Source: The Nikkei (original in Japanese, Google translation)