Sony announced that, early next year, it would begin selling a new version of the PlayStation 2 game console, dubbed the PSX by Sony and the PS 2.5 by posters on the Web.
OK, fine, ho-hum. Another upgrade to a kid's computer game player. Who cares? You can see why the announcement didn't get much attention.
But the more you study the announcement, the more apparent it is that Sony is inching its way toward something extraordinary — maybe even revolutionary.
Look again at the PSX and its specs. Its guts remain the PS2, the world's most popular game player. But around that core, Sony is going to wrap a 120 GB hard drive, a recordable DVD RW/R drive, a TV tuner, an Ethernet port and a Memory Stick slot. It will also feature USB 2.0 support and a slot to plug in Sony's upcoming Gameboy competitor, the PSP portable gaming system.
The price? Speculation ranges from $500 at the high end (the cost of those components today) to $299 at the bottom. I'll bet it's closer to the latter, even if Sony has to lose money on every box for a year or so.
Despite its pedigree, the PSX isn't a game console — something even Sony admits by calling it an entertainment system — and it originates not from the company's Computer Entertainment group, but from the mother company. Sony also isn't taking a big risk here — the PS3 is still slated for late 2004-2005, and the PSX still uses the aging PS2 processor engine. So if the new console fails, the company still retains full deniability.
Ok I'm a little confused here. Sony has plans for updating their PS2 and also coming out with their own hand held I believe. However, Sony also says they are still working on the PS3 coming out in 2004-2005. Now if the PS3 is to come out a year later, why would anyone upgrade to the new PS2? Or am I too confused? I tried to find out on Sony's website.
The PSX is more than just a PlayStation though, it has Composite and S-Video in and out so it can function as a PVR for your TV/VCR by recording ot the 120GB HD inside. It can also record to the DVD+-RW drive. It eliminate the PS2 Memory Card by addint a Sony Memory Stick slot, it has Ethernet on board (finally), as well as USB2 and FireWire (Again).
The portable one they are coming out with sounds cool too, the Play Station Portable (PSP). It uses a cartridge that looks not unlike a MiniDisc, but it is a little larger and is DVD technology instead of CD, so each one is 1.8 GB, more than enough for a good size game.