By >Akihabara News Team
[Press Conference] Sony Reader Comes to Japan
Sony Electronics Inc. (US) and Sony Marketing Inc. (Japan) today held a press conference at Sony’s headquarters in Shinagawa, Tokyo, announcing the introduction of the Sony Reader to Japan. Six models of Readers have already gone through various stages of product life in the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand, with three more coming soon, but today’s announcement in Tokyo was for two of those models, the PRS-350 and -650.
The PRS-350 Reader Pocket Edition is a five-inch e-book reader with E-Ink Corporation’s electronic paper display (the same as the Amazon Kindle DX and Kindle 3), 2GB of internal memory (only 1.4GB accessible), a microUSB port and support for e-books and image files; sized at 104.3x145x8.5 mm and weighs 155g. The PRS-650 Reader Touch Edition is rather similar in specification but has a six-inch screen, a memory card slot (Memorystick PRO and SD cards), a 2.5-inch audio out jack, and support for music as well; and is slightly larger, at 118.8×168.0×9.6 mm and 215g. One large difference from the non-Japanese versions of these two models seems to be the inclusion of support for the XMDF file format, a domestic extensible e-book standard spearheaded by Sharp (who recycled the name from its Zaurus days).
Also announced is the impending launch of a 20,000-book-strong Reader Store, which was previously only available to users in the US and Canada, with such Japanese blockbusters as Michael Sandel’s Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?, Yoshida Shunichi’s Akunin (Villain), and The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs (chuckle).
Sony expect the PRS-350 to retail around 20,000 JPY and the PRS-650 at around 25,000; both are scheduled to go on sale on the 10th of December.
In somewhat related news, Sony announced in the US that a Reader app will be available for iPhones and Android devices in December, in a similar fashion to the Kindle app already on Apple’s App Store; today the company announced that no, those apps will not be available in Japan.