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Here’s to hope and perhaps Sony finally getting it right

Well it is the second to last Monday in August and supposedly the Sony goods from IFA are meant to start flying a week from today, August 31. Samsung’s new YP-M1 MP3 player is set for its European debut at the show and it sports the Nvidia Tegra chipset, a 3.3 in AMOLED display and comes in 8, 16 and 32 GB capacities. Will Sony wow us with anything similar?  More after the break.

There is nothing to suggest that Sony will adopt Tegra for any Walkmans or SE mobiles, and will most likely stick to the trusted ARM cpu family. I have nothing against ARM and would welcome an ARM 11 or ARM-Cortex-A8 in a Walkman but I somehow do not see Sony opting for such a high end cpu for a Walkman. Even the current ipod Touch (2G) has a 533Mhz cpu from ARM meaning the X-Series with its measly 250Mhz cpu had no chance to begin with. With the new ipod Touch (3G) rumoured to use a faster cpu then this bodes poorly for Sony. Additionally when the new ZuneHD and its Tegra launch in September, and Creative releases the new Zii with its StemCell cpu, the X-Series will be left behind in the dust with a sky high price and dismal sales.

So what should a loyal Sony fan do? Pray to the Walkman god of course. No I kid, but seriously the only rational thing to do is wait and see what happens at IFA ’09. Yes we will probably see the new E, B and S at the show, but none of these are in the premium range for Sony and compete with much lower end MP3 players. The hope is that Sony will debut the new A-Series at the show, regrettably there is no proof to back this up.

The previous A-Series went on sale in April of 2008 so it definitely needs a successor. The new S-Series seems to have borrowed the A82x screen which means the new A-Series should sport something large, most likely a 3.0 in screen, either 16.9 or 16:10. What about cpu? Well this is the tricky part, will Sony position the A-Series closer to the X-Series or further down? Sony Insider claims that the new video walkmans will not be better than the X-Series but more like ‘companions’. Read into that what you want but I just hope this means better cpu and much better usability.

Further more, SI mentioned to expect “further video walkmans during July and September and the 2010 models from January to March. Hopefully those further video walkmans are the new S-Series AND new A-Series. So what should the new A-Series specs be? Well…
  • higher capacities, 8, 16 and 32 GB
  • 3.0 in screen (LCD or OLED)
  • better video codecs?
  • longer battery life
  • WiFi? probably not
  • touchscreen or tactile controls?
  • price which is competitive
No way should the 16 or 32 Gb models cost more than the ZuneHD or even ipod touch (2G) but knowing sony they will screw this up somehow. Let the countdown begin!

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