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Sony Japan unveils digital recorder for PS3

Japan gets its own PlayTV equivalent, plus PS3 with 250GB hard drive

Sony Japan has revealed a new digital terrestrial TV tuner named torne for the PlayStation 3, similar in concept to Sony Europe's PlayTV hardware.

The torne add-on will allow users to view digital terrestrial broadcasts via the PS3 and record them to either an internal or external hard drive. The peripheral attaches to the PS3 via a USB connection and comes with its own software that incorporates an interactive TV guide.

The software also allows users to track the most watched television shows from other PS3 users. Recorded programmes can also be transferred to the PSP via a memory stick or via the existing Remote Play feature.

Although torne does feature additional functionality over PlayTV there is no indication yet of a Western release. Once it debuts in Japan, North America will become the only major territory not to have its own TV tuner for the PS3.

The release date in Japan is set for this March, at a price of 9,980 yen (GBP 75/USD 109). A "PlayStation 3 Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting Recorder Pack" bundle will also be launched at the same time, including a 250GB PS3 console and the torne peripheral.

The launch of the 250GB model, the largest size of hard drive currently available worldwide, was announced for Japan at the same time as the torne unveiling. A standard standalone bundle for the 250GB model will launch earlier though, on 18 February, for a recommended retail price of 34,980 yen (GBP 234/USD 381).