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Sony halts PSX production

Is this the end of Sony's convergence experiment or will PlayStation 3 follow the same path?

Sony Japan has stopped manufacturing both models of the PSX media centre cum game console, with the company revealing that production has stopped and giving no indication of whether it plans to resume at some point in future.

The news was announced in a terse announcement on the official Japanese PSX homepage, ably translated by the scribes at German news site GameFront, and simply states that production of both current PSX models has been stopped.

The PSX combines features of the PlayStation 2 console with a DVD burner, hard drive video recorder, music player and a number of other multimedia features - but despite being well specified and competitively priced, it has failed to attract significant interest in Japan.

Although it was mentioned regularly by Sony executives in North America and Europe before and shortly after its Japanese launch, with the system marked as a dead cert for overseas release, its commercial failure in the Far East has silenced any talk of launches elsewhere.

It may be premature to see this announcement as the death knell for the system, as Sony may simply be shutting down its production lines while it waits for stocks in the retail channel to clear through - but even if that is the intention, given low demand for the system, it seems unlikely that manufacturing will ever start up again.

However, the PSX dream is widely believed to live on in Sony's plans for PlayStation 3. The Cell powered console is expected to ship with a configuration which will include much of the functionality of the PSX, including digital video, music and image capabilities.

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GamesIndustry International is the world's leading games industry website, incorporating GamesIndustry.biz and IndustryGamers.com.

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