It's official: the new S-Series Walkman will indeed invoke Mickey Mouse in its control pad. Two weeks ago, we reported on a SonyInsider story that claimed to have images of the specs and pricing., and it turns out that it was right on the money. The new device has been spotted on a French Web site with
My French is a little rusty these days, so it's a good thing Google has a built-in translator. The new S-Series (NWZ-S545) is a 16GB player selling for 149 Euros, which means it will likely go for around $150 here in the states. (The site also has an 8GB version, but no hint of a 32GB option, which is a bit of a disappointment.) The player offers built-in stereo speakers and "a great autonomy: up to 42 hours of music." It also has a QVGA screen, an FM tuner, and drag-and-drop transfer capability. In other words, the new S-Series is exactly like the old except for the refreshed design and external speakers--which isn't a bad thing, really, when you consider the many virtues of the current generation.
Of course, all of this should be taken with a grain of salt. Devices--MP3 players, in particular--have a tendency to change inways when they creep into the States. Don't be surprised if some sweet, content-related feature pops up on the new S-Series for the U.S. release.