Sony's First Walkman-Branded Hard Disk Player, NW-HD1

So this is it, then; the Sony Network Walkman NW-HD1, the new music-only player powered by a 1.8-inch hard drive, enough RAM to provide 25 minutes of skip-free playing, and an impressive 30 hour battery life. While initial reports mention that the NW-HD1 will support MP3, WMA, and WAV — and technically, that's true — it seems the "support" comes via the same old Sony trick of converting everything to ATRAC3 on the fly. That still sucks as much as it ever did, Sony. Still, this is the one they're counting, really, to make a dent in the iPod's dominance, and right out of the gate it's got a couple of dings again, with the ATRAC3 and probable lack of WMA DRM files. At least it's small [8.9cm x 6.2cm x 1.4cm], if not cheap — the initial prices for the 20GB model look to be around $400.

Our previous rumors of the NW-HD1 also mentioned a 40GB prototype. I wouldn't be surprised to see that soon. The 20GB version should be available in Japan July 10th, in the States in August, and in Europe by September. (Thanks to everyone who sent this in. You all get cupcakes.)
Read - Network Walkman Product Flash [SonyJP]
Read - Sony unveils HDD Walkman [TheRegister]
Read - Sony's 20GB Walkman Sets Sail for America [EverythingUSB]
Read - mit Festplatten-Playern auf Apples Spuren [HeiseDE]
Read - 20 GB Hard Drive Digital Music Player to Store up to 13,000 Songs [WholesaleConnection]
Read - Sony plans Walkman to rival iPod [BBC]
Read - Sony debuts revamped Walkman to silence iPod [Yahoo/Reuters]
Read - Japanese [Watch.ImpressJP]

Related
Sony NW-HD1: A New Walkman-Branded Hard Disk Player? [Gizmodo]