Rumour mills are turning, and it looks pretty likely that Akai will be launching an MPC-500 in the not-to-distant future. It's not a new rumour - GearJunkies reckoned it would be announced at MusicMesse 2005, back before the MPC2500 was launched. The message board concensus seems to be that it will be smaller, cheaper, and less powerful than the MPC1000. There are certainly corners to be cut - the 1000 has six outputs, digital ins and outs, hard drive support, a chunky metal case with a built-in PSU - so it might be possible to produce a cheaper, maybe plastic, maybe DJ oriented unit. In March 2006, Numark/Akai registered MPC500.com, and last week Matrix reported that NovaMusic now have a product page saying: "BREAKING NEWS!!New ultra portable MPC available late October" and taking pre-orders, quoting a price of $1099, reduced to $799. This seems steep, considering used MPC1000s go for $600 on eBay US. If you know any more, please get in touch. And if you created this splendid MPC/PSP mashup, thank you!
UPDATE: This from the MPC Forums, from someone who spoke to NovaMusic: "The MPC500 can be run on batteries, making it totally portable! There will be 12 pads total. This gives you a good idea on the size of the unit. Picture a mini 1000.It looks like it will cost $749"