While much media attention this week has been focused on Macworld Expo in San Francisco — perhaps because of the controversy over Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ health — the rest of the gadget world has been focused on Las Vegas, where the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2009) has been in full swing.

Among the highlights of the show, a new touch screen Walkman from portable media player pioneer, Sony Corp.


Sony’s X-Series Walkman features a large 3 in. touch screen as well as physical keys control volume and provide a quick jump to the device’s Home screen. It’s WiFi-ready for streaming content (a feature not yet available on the iconic iPod Touch) and includes a built-in FM tuner.

The X-Series Walkman handles a wide array of media formats including MP3, WMA, AAC and L-PCM (WAV) for audio plus AVC, MPEG-4 and WMV for video.

It’s not yet available in North America, but will come in 16 GB and 32 GB models. Sony has not committed to a North American retail price, yet, wary of possible drastic fluctuations in exchange rates during the current period of economic uncertainty. We also suspect they want to wait until after January 20, 2009, and see what the effect of the economic elements of U.S. President-Elect Barach Obama’s inauguration speech will have on world markets and currencies.

Sony has been notably absent from the media player marketplace since Apple created the initial hurricane of hype surrounding its original iPod several years ago. But industry observers seem to agree that Sony’s new X-Series Walkman was worth waiting for.

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