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Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Sony's PSX drops DVD+RW, initially

As we have posted some weeks ago, sony shocked competitors at the Ceatec Japan 2003 exhibition by announcing a sub-$1,000 price tag for its upcoming PSX entertainment console. The system, based on the popular Playstation 2 platform, will include audio and video functions but will not support DVD+RW recording in its initial incarnation.

Two PSX models will debut in Japan this year: the DESR-5000, with a 160-Gbyte hard drive, and the DESR-7000, with a 250-Gbyte drive. The 250-Gbyte drive can record up to 325 hours of video, Sony said. Both models can also function as Playstation 1 and Playstation 2 systems. The DESR-5000 will cost about $907 and the DESR-7000 about $750.

Sony is positioning the PSX family as a strategic product that combines the company's game and electronics technologies. The console is powered by an advanced processor called the EE+GS@90nm, a single-chip implementation-fabricated in 90-nm technology-of the Emotion Engine and Graphics Synthesizer processors used in the Playstation 2. The real-time operating system of the Playstation 2 provides a graphical user interface with game-like operations. Each of the systems includes an analog TV tuner to receive broadcasts in Japan.

The PSX models can record video on DVD-RW and DVD-R disks and can read a number of other disk formats beyond those for the Playstation 1 and Playstation 2. It has USB 1.0 interfaces, a Memory Stick slot and the basic functions of the latest HDD+DVD recorders.

Competing home entertainment hubs include more sophisticated functions, such as high-speed dubbing capability from hard disks to DVD disks at four times the normal speed. But the functions come at a higher price: A Matsushita Electric system with a 160-Gbyte hard drive retails for $1,800.

Pioneer Electronics, meanwhile, will unveil a similar model this month worldwide with a price close to Sony's PSX, with a 250-Gbyte drive, but Pioneer's system will include an 80-Gbyte drive.

Sony plans to release the PSX in Japan first and to overseas markets in the future.

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