Plenty in PSX to keep gamers happy until PlayStation 3 debuts
With PlayStation 2 growing a little long in the tooth, Sony has announced an impressive new upgrade that should help keep up sales while the company works on the next generation PlayStation 3, which few analysts expect to be released before 2005.
Meanwhile, consumers should note that the PSX is much more than a simple games console. Bundling the PS2's gaming features, the system includes a huge hard drive, a television tuner and a DVD burner.
Sony says that as a television recorder the 250GB unit will record up to 325 hours of video, while the 160GB box will record 204 hours (107 or 67 hours in standard mode). The specifications say one hour of video can be copied from the hard drive to DVD in 2? minutes.
Video can be edited directly from the hard drive. Like a Tivo, the PSX can play back programmes while they are being recorded, or play games while recording.
The multisystem DVD supports DVD-R, DVD-RW and DVD+RW as well as CD and CD-R, and can handle both MP3 and Atrac3 playback.
For PC connectivity, the PSX offers slots for Memory Stick and USB. It also supports Ethernet for data transfer and future online gaming.
If you have a Sony digital camera, you are in luck: you can plug the camera directly into the PSX to play back video or look through your digital photos. Sony claims other cameras will be supported at a later date.
Sony Hong Kong has not confirmed a local release date, but the system is expected to be out in the market in Japan in time for Christmas, and in Europe and North America in next year.
Price: XPSX DESR-7000 (250GB) 99,800 yen (HK$7,111 ); PSX DESR-5000 (160GB) 79,800 yen (HK$5,685)
Pros: Superb new features turn old console into home entertainment centre
Cons: Hong Kong release date unknown; still the same old PS2 processor