Some people like to say Sony missed completely the next-generation MP3 player bandwagon when they made it to the market with products that were innovative enough however still relied too much on proprietary technology for making it to the mainstream... first product that comes to mind that got it right was Apple's iPod, of course.

Now Sony will try to compensate for its mistakes being one of the first to launch a hard drive-based portable player that supports both audio and video. The next-generation Walkman (or whatever you want to call it) will go on sale in Japan in late June and will play MP3 audio files as well as MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 video formats.

The hard drive inside the HMP-A1 has a capacity of 20GB and data can be transferred between this and a personal computer over a USB 2.0 connection. The screen, which dominates the front of the device, is a 3.5-inch LCD with 320 pixel by 240 pixel (QVGA) resolution. Alongside its right-hand side are a small number of navigation buttons and there is also an in-line remote control in the headphone cable.

Battery life has been estimated from 4 to 8 hours depending what you are playing, this will certainly make for a very interesting product, looking forward to it.