May 28, 2003 9:23 AM PDT

Sony brandishes PS2 spinoff

Sony on Wednesday introduced the PSX, a follow-up to the hugely popular PlayStation 2, and touted it as a device that creates a new entertainment category.

In addition to the basic features of a game console, PSX will offer a DVD recorder, a 120GB hard drive, a TV tuner, an Ethernet port, a USB 2.0 port and a Memory Stick slot.

The PSX shares a number of components with PlayStation 2, including the Emotion Engine processor and the operating system. But the company tried to design it as a "digital appliance of the next generation," and as more than just a game console, by infusing the elements of a PC and an audio-video appliance, said Ken Kutaragi, head of Sony Computer Entertainment.

"By utilizing the elements at hand, we tried to see to what extent we could approach the realization of a digital appliance," Kutaragi said at a press conference in Tokyo.

Although no one from Sony mentioned the much-rumored PlayStation 3, which is expected to debut in 2005, the company hinted at a plan to build a home server that would incorporate the "Cell" chip, a specially designed processor that will be used in the PlayStation 3.

The PSX will be available, first in the Japanese market at the end of the year, and then in the United States and Europe in early 2004, Sony said. It did not reveal prices.

CNET Japan's Michiko Nagai reported from Tokyo.


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