One nice side effect of Amazon taking an interest in an ebook market is that their presence puts pressure on the local competition to step up their game.
BookLive, a 2 year old subsidiary of NEC and Toshiba, has just unveiled their first ereader. The Lideo is based around a 6" epaper screen (tech and resolution unknown) and it has Wifi and Wimax (free access to the ebookstore is included). It ships with 4GB of Flash storage and a touchscreen but it's not clear if this device also has a card slot. Format support includes XMDF as well as Epub.
This ereader is equipped with an on-device ebookstore stocked with over 100 thousand titles from many major Japanese publishers, including Kadokawa Group, Gentosha, Kodansha, Shueisha, Shinchosha , and Shogakukan.
It's up for pre-order now with a retail of 8,480 yen, and will be sold in Sanseido bookstores starting next month. The formal release date is expected to be 10 December.
Tell me, what does this ereader look like to you? I think it bears a physical resemblance to to the older Sony Readers, in particular the PRS-650 and the PRS-T1. The Lideo doesn't have a stylus or the software features found on Sony's ereaders, but I can see the influences of the hardware design. It's a pity that Booklive didn't go for something more original.