Sony Reader, New and Improved?S

A literary tech site has spotted an alleged update to Sony's not-terribly-popular Reader. The PRS-505 doubles the memory capacity of the original PRS-500—it can now hold 160 books rather than 80. The new Reader also has an improved E-Ink screen, comes in a choice of colors and has a much smarter button layout and interface. But will any of this fussing actually help sell Readers?

The Sony Reader is one of those quirky products that attracted reviewers originally because it was unique. The E-Ink screen was very easy to read, in spite of a lack of back lighting. And the idea of an iPod/iTunes system for books made sense. Or did it? Books from the Connect store were terribly expensive, and there was too much pressure to own digital titles, rather than rent them out, like a for-pay library model. How does doubling the book capacity help with that?

I'd hate to pronounce the new Reader DOA. (Heck, it might never arrive, since the listing and photos were pulled from the retailer's site after the post went up.) But while it's nice to know Sony is trying to tweak the formula, I'm just not sure the formula itself is worth the chalk. [Wowio via Gadget Lab]