A sign outside the grounds of the Las Vegas Convention Center here at CES shows a new Walkman-branded product from Sony, which would mark the second hyped Walkman release in just a few months' time after the debut of the A17 last September. The new device looks like classic Sony design, featuring a curved, matte black shell highlighted by a gold-tone headphone jack and unusual placement of the transport controls — play / pause and track advance all appear to be placed along the edge. It looks like it could be an evolution of the ZX1, which retails for an astounding £549 ($841) in the UK.
A Walkman renaissance?
The device may have been teased in the company's "Welcome to the New World" video from several days ago. It was assumed that Sony was hinting at a new phone with references to Android Lollipop, a vibrant display, and high-quality audio, but many of the cues could just as easily apply to a new media player. If the A17 is any indication, this new Walkman will focus on high-quality audio — Sony has been trying to lead something of a digital audio renaissance lately, calling out support for 24-bit 192kHz sound files and high-quality amps.
Of course, there's precious little evidence to suggest that people have the tolerance to carry a dedicated Walkman on top of a modern smartphone with solid audio quality of its own — but if this all means a glorious return to Weird Sony, I can probably be convinced.