The blogosphere was alight this morning with rumours of an impending Sony PlayStation Portable 2 - an updated handheld PSP console with a touchscreen. There was only one problem with the rumours: they were/are a load of old rubbish.

Well, that's what Sony says at least (and Sony ought to know). The official response from the electronics giant is: "No plans for a PSP2 are underway." And if you don't believe even that watertight denial, a "source close to Sony" told Spong that there is no truth in the rumours, and that they are, indeed, 'nonsense'.

So the story is, there's no story.

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Sony PSP2: digital fishwifery

How do these digital urban myths get traction? Sources as varied and creditable as the Guardian, T3 and Stuff, among others, have all published stories about PSP2 rumours, although none claimed to believe them (what they say now, anyway). And that's to say nothing of the literally dozens of blogs and 'news sites' who fell for the story hook, line and credibility sinker (72 at 1pm, according to Google News).

The original source of the story seems to have been gaming behemoth IGN, but that news item - 'Rumor: PSP 2 coming soon' - is no longer live. And it appears that the aforementioned 'rumors' may stem from a survey Sony has commissioned into what people want from a new PSP.

Such a survey is, of course, a long way from developing a new console. Indeed, you could argue that if Sony is canvassing opinion on features, it's not even reached the initial design stage. But in a tough year for Sony, it must be comforting to know that people are so interested in your products that the merest hint of a new one is enough to set digital tongues wagging.