Sony PSX (DVR)
Type Console Hybrid Developer Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date 2003-Dec-13 Region(s) Japan
Initial Price $749 / $849 USD Games Released PS1 & PS2 Compatible
     by Dark Watcher
Multimedia & gaming devices have been around the industry since the 1990s (3DO, Pioneer LaserActive and Philips CD-i).  They are usually high in price, and chock full of features.  In December of 2003, Sony decided to market its own feature rich multimedia device.

The Sony PSX is a high priced multimedia device designed to be the center of your home entertainment experience.  Interesting enough, the Sony PSX is driven by the "heart and soul" of the PlayStation 2 console.  Using nanotechnology, the two processors that power the PS2 (Graphics Synthesizer and Emotion Engine) have been placed onto a single chipset called 90nm EE+GS.  This gives the Sony PSX all the features found in the PlayStation 2 console (Progressive Scan DVD playback, Music CD playback, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation games).

The new chipset also allows for more added features such as the ability to receive analog television broadcasts to a built in TV tuner, record both DVDs and television (like TiVo), and allow broadband connectivity.
The PSX has a Sony memory stick slot for displaying digital photos on your TV or play back music MP3s.  The powerful user interface allows for simultaneous actions (play a game while recording a TV show for example) and uses a firmware update system to add even more features to the PSX.

Two versions were released on 13 December 2003 in Japan, one with 160GB hard drive (PSX DESR-5000 priced at 79,800 yen), and one with 250GB hard drive (PSX DESR-7000 priced at 99,800 yen).  An expensive, but truly interesting toy, the Sony PSX was never sold outside of Japan.

FACT: You would think for all that cost the PSX would come with a controller.  The PSX comes with a remote, but the game controller is going to cost you extra!  Also due to the placement of some ports, some accessories such as the PS2 multi-tap are not compatible with the PSX.
     Officially licensed releases
The various models of the PSX all look the same, with the exception of the DESR-5100 - that was the only model that was released in a Satin Silver casing.  The basic difference between models is the size of the hard drive (160 GB versus 250 GB), along with minor changes to the firmware and embedded software (which can be updated).  The models that have been released thus far:
  Sony PSX DESR-5000
Sony PSX DESR-7000
Sony PSX DESR-5100
Sony PSX DESR-7100
Sony PSX DESR-5500
Sony PSX DESR-7500
Sony PSX DESR-5700
Sony PSX DESR-7700

Sony PSX DESR-5100

Sony PSX DESR-5000
Courtesy of AV Watch
     Non-licensed hardware releases
No clones were released for this system.
     by Marriott_Guy
Consoles are rated based upon the available technology at the time of its release.  A 10 point scale is utilized, with 10 being excellent.  Review based upon the Sony PSX DESR-5100.

Console Design 09 Though hard to classify as a true gaming console, the Sony PSX DVR is one of the best looking systems I have seen.  The minimalistic design features readily available touch buttons concealed behind with a flip-down front door.  Unfortunately, access to the ports on the back of the device is somewhat cumbersome.  A plastic snap-cover unnecessarily hides the majority of the recessed ports.  Also, the controller ports are located on the rear of the PSX as well, which is kind of a pain.
Console Durability 07 The PSX utilizes hard plastics in the design of the port concealment doors.  These are rather fragile and are prone to cracking.  Operationally, I have not had any issues with my PSX DESR-5100.
Controllers 08 The PSX primary method of interaction is the included remote.  For gaming, a standard DualShock 2 controller can be used (sold separately).  As noted earlier, the controller ports are located in the rear of the PSX.
Graphics 08 PS1 and PS2 games look great on the PSX DVR.  I don't believe any upscaling occurs, but don't quote me on that.  Video playback (DVD and recorded) is fluid.
Audio 09 Sound output is optimal, with full Dolby Digital 5.1 support.  MP3 ripping is limited to 132 kbps, which is rather disappointing.
Media 09 The PSX is compatible with just about every digital media format available.  MP3. JPEG and MPEG1 support is also a huge plus.
Game Library 08 Being compatible with the Sony PS1 and PS2, the library of games is extensive.  Unfortunately, the PSX DVR is regionally protected so you must use the NTSC-J versions.
Gamer Value 03 It is hard to justify the significant investment to obtain a PSX DVR if you are just looking to game.  For the same price, you could probably buy 30 PS1 and PS2 systems.
Collector Value 09 The PSX DVR was exclusively sold in Japan, with some reports listing the total units sold at approximately 250,000.  These are pricey to acquire, but well worth it due to all of the features that are packaged into this beast. 

     Interesting facts on software for this system
The Sony PSX DVR is compatible with games for the Sony PlayStation and Sony PlayStation 2.  The system is regionally protected which limits the PSX to NTSC-J releases.  Games that require the optional PS2 HDD (hard disk drive) and online connectivity are are supported.

The PSX DVR was the first Sony device to sport the XrossMediaBar (XMB), which we see today in the Sony PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 3 consoles.

A number of base applications are preinstalled on the PSX to facilitate its extensive list of functions.  Included is a multimedia player/ripper (DJ), photo importer and editing tools for video dubbing.

XMB In Action
     Captured in-game images

     First and third party system emulators
See the Sony PlayStation and Sony PlayStation 2 pages for emulation.
     For the hardware enthusiasts out there - all the detail you\we love.
Processor Type  Processor Speed  Other Processor Information RAM \ Video RAM
Emotion Engine 90nm EE+GS 294 MHz Graphics Synthesizer (GPU - part of the EE+GS) 32 MB RDRAM \ 4 MB DRAM
Screen Resolution Color Palette Polygons \ Sprites Audio
256 x 224 to 1280 x 1024 (NTSC) 24-bit to 32-bit 66 million per second \
18.75 million per second
48 channel, 48 kHz, Dolby Digital 5.1, Audio D\A Converter (192kHz 24-bit)
Media Format Media Capacity Games Released Other Supported Formats
DVD, DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW 4.7 GB PS1 & PS2 Compatible CD-DA, CD-R, Sony PS1 CD-ROM, Sony PS2 CD\DVD-ROM, MP3 CD-R
Internal Storage External \ Removable Storage Game Controllers Other Game \ Peripheral Devices
160 GB or 250 GB Memory Stick, PlayStation 1/2 Memory Card Slots (2) DualShock 2 (not included) Remote, some PS1\PS2 peripherals supported
Controller Ports Network Ports Other Ports Audio \ Video
Two (2) Ethernet (100BASE-TX/10BASE-T) VHF / UHF connector 75ΩF (I\O) Composite, S-Video, Component
Power Supply - Internal Other Outputs  Other Details \ Notes
AC 100V, 50\60 Hz Optical Out SPDIF (1) Electronic program schedule (EPG) reservation, simultaneous video/recording playback, 4 Recording Modes (HQ, SP, LP, EP), Terrestrial analog (VHF: 1 - 12ch/UHF: 13 - 62ch/CATV: C13 - C63ch)
Sony PSX DESR-5000 \ 7000 Owners Manual (PDF (Japanese) - 27.7 MB
Sony PSX DESR-5100 \ 7100 Owners Manual (PDF (Japanese) - 21.3 MB
Sony PSX DESR-5500 \ 7500 Owners Manual (PDF (Japanese) - 32.1 MB
Sony PSX DESR-5700 \ 7700 Owners Manual (PDF (Japanese) - 15.2 MB

     Peripherals, Promotions, Commercials, Brochures, Etc.
Sony PSX DVR Television Commercials (Japan)

     Visitor insights and feedback
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