Sony Next Generation Portable (NGP), the much-awaited handheld gaming device, may not show its face for months to come, but rumors are already flying thick and fast that it has a new name - PS Vita.

The name Vita (in Latin, it means life) began making rounds in the Internet ever since a blogger put up a couple of images of unconfirmed Sony documentation on the PS Vita on his blog site called Mega Rock Blog. The image was later down and replaced with the following message: A stupid mistake. This has to be one of the stupidest things I've ever done. The blog itself became inaccessible subsequently.

Michael Pachter, research analyst at Wedbush Securities has tweeted that it is the dumbest name he has ever come across. Pachter says it reminds him of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program — VITA for short - under which he and hisfriends helped seniors with tax returns while in law school, or else, a vegetable-flavored energy drink.

However, he has acknowledged that dumber the name, the more likely a device will be successful. Nintendo Wii, Sony Vaio and Apple iPad are a few devices that can testify that.

Will the NGP be called PS Vita or PSV? We have to wait till next month to know that as the device will be unveiled at E3 2011.

Meanwhile, rumors have it that the NGP will have micro-analog sticks, a feature gamers had begged for on the original PSP.

The NGP is also expected to boast a 5-inch multi-touch OLED screen with 960x544 resoltuion and run on a quad-core ARM cortex processor.

Tilt-sensitive SISAXIS controls, standard and front-sde cameras, GPS, digital compass, Wi-Fi, 3G support and access to Android gaming have not been ruled out.

Price? Expect the cheapest model to retail for $250-300.