Managing director of Sony Computer Entertainment in Australia,
Michael Ephraim, has promised that the functionality of the
forthcoming PSX console will be significantly improved before it
hits Australian and other markets in late 2004.
The much-hyped PSX, which combines a hard disk drive video
recorder, DVD recorder, music player, photo viewer, and
PlayStation 2 games console in a single box, was released in
Japan on December 13. Reviewers have so far been critical of the
lack of functionality available in the initial release.
Ephraim has explained that not all of PSX's potential is bundled
straight out of the box.
"Some of the functionality the PSX will be capable of will not
ship in the box," he said. "The architecture can be totally
upgraded by software." The Western world benefits from early
product launches in Japan, Ephraim said, as the delay allowed the
manufacturer to iron out any issues with the applications prior
to the product hitting our shores.
Ephraim dismissed analyst figures that indicate an early lead for
Microsoft's Xbox online gaming service over the service Sony is
offering for its Playstation 2.
Analysts from GfK Marketing group have released a report
suggesting the Xbox Live service may be twice as popular as
Sony's PS2 Network.
"It is coming from such a low base, whatever numbers they are
talking about now are inconsequential in the future," Ephraim
said. "I understand that our competition is a few hundred network
adapters in front of us, not thousands. When you consider that we
have an install base of 1 million PS2's and 2.5 million
Playstations, it is fairly irrelevant. Our competitors don't even
have a third of that installed base."