Sony revamping PSX with PSP connectivity

New PlayStation 2/PVR will let users download automatically encoded video onto Sony's handheld.

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TOKYO--Late last month, Sony stopped production of its latest PSX, sparking speculation that the company is pulling the plug on the machine. However, today Sony announced a new PSX, one that will have connectivity with its PSP handheld.

The new PSX will go on sale in Japan on April 15 and will be available in two models. The DESR-7700 will come with a 250GB hard drive and a street price of around 80,000 yen ($767), and the DESR-5700 will come with a 160GB hard drive and will sell for around 60,000 yen ($575).

The PSX is a DVD-HDD recorder with PlayStation 2 gaming capabilities, and this will be its third model upgrade since its debut in December 2003. Aside from having the features available in the older models, the new PSX will let owners download recorded video (such as TV programs) onto a Memory Stick Duo and transfer it to a PSP. The PSX will automatically convert video to the MPEG4 format the PSP uses when users download it to the Memory Stick Duo. A 512MB Memory Stick Duo can hold up to 110 minutes in 384kbps low-quality mode or up to 60 minutes in 768kbps high-quality mode.

The DESR-7700 and 5700 are nearly identical to the previously released PSX DESR-7500 and 5500 models, respectively, in terms of hardware, meaning that the DESR-7700 comes with a ghost reduction tuner and the 5700 does not. The DESR-7700 also comes with a connection for broadcast satellite (BS) and an i.Link (DV) connection.

Sony will release a firmware patch that gives the previous PSX models the same PSP movie-download function as the new PSX. More details on the patch will be released on April 4. Sony does not have any plans to release a patch for PSX models older than the DESR-7500 and 5500.

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