Sony to update PSX game console/video recorder

Sony will put two new versions of its PSX machine on sale in Japan in two weeks, the company said Wednesday. The PSX combines a hard-disk drive/DVD video recorder with a PlayStation 2 games console.

The two new machines are updates of products that went on sale in December, adding several new functions in software but no major hardware upgrades, said Hiroko Nakamura, a spokeswoman for Sony in Tokyo.

The biggest change is in improved graphic functions. There is a new GUI (graphical user interface), and users can now choose to use one of 50 graphical DVD menu templates when burning content from the hard disk to a DVD. Users of the new machines can also edit content recorded onto the hard-disk prior to its burning onto a DVD. The company has added a graphical editing mode that mimics the appearance of a film roll to make editing easy.

The new models also include all updates provided to users of the original machines. When Sony launched the PSX, it was forced to leave out several features, which were later supplied to users on disc or via the Internet.

The DESR-5100 will have a 160G-byte hard-disk drive, while the DESR-7100 will have a 250G-byte drive. Both will go on sale in Japan on July 1; their respective prices will be ¥74,000 and ¥95,000 (US$672 and $863). The prices are slightly cheaper than those of the original models when they went on sale last year.

Both models are available in white, like the originals models, and the DESR-5100 will also be available in silver, Nakamura said.

Owners of the original machines will be able to update the software in their devices to match the new models. The software update service will be available from July 15.

Sony says it plans to launch the PSX in other markets towards the end of this year or some time next year but has not decided on the details.

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Martyn Williams

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