After quietly cancelling its ‘Bean’ range within six months of launch the company has decided to plug a few gaps with a new line of flash players.
Called the NW-A series (yes, it sounds like a rap band to us too), the 002, 003 and 005 will be 512MB, 1GB and 2GB devices respectively and sport discreet organic one line displays.
The styling is a long way from being as inventive as the Bean’s but clearly the more experimental design failed to appeal to consumers. The new look is reminiscent of memory keys from three or four years ago though and the removable caps that cover the USB connector only complete the image.
Interestingly, Sony has decided to pull the FM functionality it usually equips its players with from the NW-As. The two clear factors behind this decision are price and size since the 2GBer’s anticipated RRP of just $180 and slim form factor put it clearly in shuffle bashing and nano-did-you-spill-my-pint territory.
Of course always trying to undo all the good work Sony achieves on the hardware side of things is the supplied Sonicstage software. Version 3.4 is said to be a significant improvement on previous coding messes but, in truth, I haven’t got touchy feely with it.
We don’t have a precise release date for the NW-A range but if between now and then Sony wants to contact Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren or a spiritualist for Eazy-E we’re sure they could come up with a snappy sales tune. On the other hand, employing DJ Yella to handle the promotional video could prove more dubious…
Now officially announced as the 'E Series' (probably for the best), we've an official shiny press pic for you...