Folks, today I get to show Sony and everyone else the value of being the one major blog not included in Sony's NDA. I've just come across a screenshot from an ad, and it shows the new Sony Reader as going on sale next month.
You can click on the image at right to see a larger version, but it shows the new Sony Reader PRS-T2 being marked down from $129 to $99. The ad also mentions the dozen dictionaries found on the last Sony Reader, and it specifically calls out the free Harry Potter ebook that ships with each device.
I can't find the ad online myself, but it's been attributed to MCX Brands, a company that runs retail stores on US Marine Corps bases. It's supposed to come from their anniversary sale, which looks to happen in the middle of September. Okay, so that's not terribly useful unless you have access to a military base, but it's still an interesting bit of news that Sony's new ereader is going to go on sale almost immediately.
Well, I'm not sure I'd call it a sale, given that the Kindle costs less. You can also get the B&N Nook Touch for $99, and if you don't mind a refurb you can get the Nook Touch for $60 on Ebay. (Now that's a sale.) Sony's sale price here looks to be the usual sleight of hand that device makers use. They invent a higher fictional retail price and then sell the device for the real retail price, which is usually much lower.
The real retail price is probably going to be $99, so if you plan to get one I would wait for that price.
I was one of the 2 blogs to break the story on the Sony Reader late Thursday night, and like my competition I'm not terribly impressed. This ereader looks to be little more than a slightly improved version of Sony's last ereader. It has the same screen, general design, and aside from a couple new software features there appears to be only one important different between the T1 and the T2.
The new device appears to lack a headphone jack. That means there's no audio. Sony has removed one of the few strengths that the T1 had over the Nook Touch, and now there's really not much of a reason to get a Sony Reader anymore.
P.S. There was a marked lack of coverage of last week's leak, and that's why I believe that Sony has some of the major blogs under a non-disclosure agreement. Those blogs have already been briefed on the new ereader, and thanks to the NDA they cannot post the leak. While my guess that a launch would happen today turned out not to be true, I do expect the new device to launch soon.