Sony Corp.'s soon-to-be-release PSX device is an audiovisual product and not a new PlayStation video game console, according to the firm and industry watchers.
Sony announced that it will start selling the PSX on Dec. 13.
The machine, dubbed "a crossover" between a game console and a DVD recorder, is priced at 99,800 yen, with a hard disk drive capable of recording up to 325 hours of movie content. One with a smaller HDD capacity is set at 79,800 yen.
As DVD recorders are rapidly replacing videotape recorders in Japan, Sony officials hope the PSX will help propel its market presence in the field, where the firm lags behind its rivals, including Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.
The machine features two key semiconductors used in the PS2 game console. Officials said the chips are also ideal for creating user-friendly graphic interface and fast processing speeds for the latest DVD recorder.
Kenji Matsuoka, senior planning manager for the PSX, said the firm expects little, if any, consumer demand for the product as a game console.
"We, at one point of development, even thought of dropping the game function altogether," he said.
But the firm eventually decided to keep the function because consumers can also benefit from it.
Game shop officials and industry analysts agree, saying few will see the product as a pure game console, given its price tag, which is relatively cheap for a DVD recorder but prohibitively expensive as a game console.
"It is not made for game players, but for people who want to buy DVD recorders," said Shunji Yamashina, an analyst at Morgan Stanley.
But he added that making the PSX will help Sony drive down costs to manufacture the PS2, because the two products share common parts. (The Japan Times)
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