While Apple, Creative, Meizu, Archos, SuperTalent, iRiver, Toshiba and Cowon were all prepping next gen super PMPs this month, Sony was dumping the shame that is its Atrac format, turning out some particularly mediocre looking players and coming up with, err... this...
With mystery shots bouncing around the web for some time, the official announcement this week of the Sony Rolly SEP-10BT 'Sound Entertainment Player' does little to clear the fog. In essence it is an MP3 player which rolls around your floor 'dancing' in time to tracks and not since the Palm Foleo have I felt the need to ask: 'WHY?!' quite so loudly.
It doesn't get better on close inspection either, the Rolly features 1GB of internal flash memory (it wasn't going to be moving parts) and can play MP3, ACC or Atrac (yes, we thought that was put to bed too). A Bluetooth connection with A2DP also means audio can be streamed to the Rolly, but that only serves to put this freewheeling product on a 30ft leash of the source. A five hour battery life, four for music+dance, three hours thirty minutes for a terrifying combo of music+dance+Bluetooth mean your sanity will expire long before Rolly is ready to give up the ghost.
Even worse more bizarrely, the Rolly has the ability to be choreographed and the moves that you and your councillor teach it can be uploaded onto the web to be shared with other patients owners.
A chunky great $350 asking price has been slapped onto this totally pointless creation, but I suspect Rolly will be put out of its misery ("I wanted to be a PMP when I grew up!") by a stray/aimed high heel within weeks of unpacking.
It'll hit Japan by the end of the month which means someone unfortunate is going to be unpacking this stupid thing at Christmas.
Wow Sony, that was some well spent research money. Apple must be freaking out...
Product Page In Japanese