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Clie family expands overseas

Sony sells PDAs before launching them, and develops handheld games controller

Sony seems to have started selling two new PDAs (personal digital assistants) without launching them first.

The latest additions to the Clie line-up — the PEG-SJ20 and PEG-SJ30 — have gone on sale on Sony's web shopping sites in Australia and Hong Kong, before they have been officially announced. They have yet to make an appearance on any other sites in Japan, Europe or the US.

The models are similar to the low-cost PEG-SL10 that was announced in some markets last month.

Between the SL10 and SJ20, the biggest difference is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack in place of disposable batteries in the SL10. The SJ20 uses a similar 320x320pixel monochrome display to the SL10, while the SJ30 (pictured) has a colour display.

Pricing for the devices varies by region, in Australia the SJ20 is A$549 (£192), while in Hong Kong the price quoted is HK$1,780 (£148). Similar discrepancies are found with the SJ30, which is A$749 (£262) and HK$2,480 (£206).

Launch dates for markets outside Australia and Hong Kong have yet to be announced, but Sony UK has intimated that there are Clie launches down the line. Perhaps we should keep an eye on the online shopping stores to get a first look at the new products.

In addition to the new PDAs, Sony also unveiled a few details of a new game controller for some of its latest handhelds. The controller straps on to the Clie and makes playing games on the PDA much easier. No price or availability details were available, beyond the statement "coming soon" — and we guess that means in Japan anyway.

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