According to a couple of reports this morning via anonymous sources, the successor to the PlayStation Portable will be announced in just a few weeks. Jan. 27, supposedly, is the date Sony has chosen to unveil the PSP2, and it’ll do so at a press event in Tokyo. That's just inside a month prior to the Japanese launch of Nintendo's 3DS. Strategic timing!
MCV, one of the publications reporting on this rumor, is also promising surprising “exclusive industry insight” into the PSP2 in the pages of its magazine that is slated to hit news stands this Friday.
Rumors about the PSP 2 have been circulating forever. The craziest bit of chatter I’ve heard stems from a Kotaku article from late October in which an anonymous source details the device, verifying that it’ll have twice the RAM of an Xbox 360. The PSP2 will also, supposedly, ship with two analog sticks, touch controls, a larger screen, and will apparently not support UMD.
Your guess is as good as mine on this one, but now at least seems like the time for Sony to start talking portable successor. I wouldn't call the PSP development environment "thriving" at this point.