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Sony 'suspends' PSX production - again

Update pending... or demise?

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The Register still receives plenty of emails asking when Sony's PSX PlayStation 2 PVR will ship in Europe. We don't know, but it's looking increasingly unlikely now that Sony has apparently stopped producing the Japanese version.

According to an announcement on the Japanese PSX website, cited by German-language games news website GameFront, Sony has suspended production of the machine. No reason was given for the move.

When we looked at the Sony site today, we couldn't see any obvious reference to such a move. However, Sony's online hardware sales site ominously notes that it is no longer selling either of the two current versions of the PSX, the 160GB DESR-5500 and the 250GB DESR-7500.

It's worth recalling that Sony has been here before. The original PSX, again in two versions, the DESR-5100 and DESR-7100, shipped in Japan in December 2003. In April 2004, however, Sony suspended production of both models to allow local sales channels room to clear their stocks of unsold machines. That appeared to sound the death knell for the PVR, but Sony bounced back in July with two updated models, the 5500 and the 7500.

It's possible Sony is planning a similar update for 2005, using the same tactic to clear out inventory of the current line-up.

As for a European launch, it's looking unlikely. Last July, Sony admitted that its original plan, to ship the PSX in Europe and the US in 2004, had fallen by the wayside in a bid to make the technology more appropriate for Western users. Then, the plan was to ship the PSX in the US sometime in 2005, with a European launch unscheduled at that time. ®

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