Sony has announced that its first 4k media player, the FMP-X1, is available to order now from the online Sony store and will hit in-store shelves on July 15. The bad news? So far it’s a US only roll out.
The FMP-X1 is not exactly cheap, in fact its priced at $699, double what you can pay for a similar HD unit, but for that money not only do you get an awful lot of very pretty consumer electronics design (compare and contrast to the brick-like nature of the Xbox One) but Sony is also thoughtfully pre-loading 10 4K feature films onto the 2TB disc. They are a bit of a mixed bag to be honest – The Bridge on the River Kwai and Taxi Driver are the undoubted highlights from the remastered back catalogue – but the likes of The Amazing Spider-Man and Total Recall 2012 at least mean there’s something to watch on your new player.
4K Video Unlimited
The range will be added to fairly quickly as well. While a date has yet to be firmly pencilled in, Sony is also launching its Video Unlimited 4K VoD service at some point in the autumn, promising it to be a “a regularly updated library” of both movies and TV shows. Twenty-four hour rental downloads will start at $7.99 and purchases will begin at $29.99, and if that 2TB proves not to be enough, there is also an external hard drive available for more storage.
As well as the 10 titles, there is also a bunch of short-form videos pre-loaded too showcasing the capabilities of 4K to further impress the neighbours. Or neighbors as we should write it, for as yet there isn’t even a hint of when the FMP-X1 or the Video Unlimited 4K service will be available outside of the USA, with strong suspicions that the VoD service might either lag significantly behind the player’s launch or be skipped entirely in Europe and elsewhere.