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Last Updated: Friday, 5 December, 2003, 12:18 GMT
Sony forced to clip PSX's wings
Sony's PSX hybrid console
The console bundles gaming and entertainment
Sony's revamped PlayStation console, the PSX, has been stripped of some features so it can be rushed onto shop shelves in Japan in time for Christmas.

The entertainment system, on sale in Japan from 13 December, is a PS2, hard disk drive, DVD recorder and TV tuner.

But its recording speed has been cut and some audio and picture formats will not be supported, like MP3.

Sony wants the multimedia box to appeal to serious gamers, but also fans of all-in-one home entertainment products.

Missing formats

The original list of features for the shiny do-it-all machine was announced by Sony on 7 October.

But now Sony has confirmed that the PSX will not record or play DVDs in the DVD+RW format, but will play and record in DVD-R or DVD-RW formats.

Computer user
DVD copying time is slashed, but it is still quick
The DVD+RW format allows discs to be recorded onto many times. The DVD-RW format is rewritable but not the DVD-R.

The recording speed has been cut from 24x real-time to 12x real-time. This means copying an hour's worth of recorded TV onto a DVD will take about five minutes.

Although it will not be able to play MP3 music files, it will play Sony's own format ATRAC as well as others. Playing CDs in CD-R format is also out for PSX owners.

The system will not does not come with an antenna output, which means if people want to use both a TV and the PSX, their antenna may need to be split.

Another omission is a broadband socket, meaning it will not be compatible with the PlayStation broadband service initially.

Even though much of the machine's specification has been pared down, the electronics giant said many of the functions will be replaced through net downloads in the future.

The PSX, which will sell in Japan for about 420, can record more than 200 hours of TV on its 160 GB hard disk. A deluxe version with a 250GB drive will also be available for around 500.

The machine is expected to go on sale in Europe and the US in 2004.

Sony shows off hybrid PlayStation
07 Oct 03  |  Technology
Sony revamps the PlayStation
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08 Aug 03  |  Business
Xbox expands online gaming empire
17 Sep 03  |  Technology
PlayStation turns supercomputer
27 May 03  |  Technology

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