The word from "credible sources" is that Sony isn't just keeping itself busy making brash claims about PS3 availability, building iPod docks and churning out aesthetically-challenged home integration gear. Nope, Sony's got a biggie in the oven, a flash player of 2, 4 and 8GB capacities ostensibly designed to kick it with the iPod nano and SanDisk Sansa in mini flash DAP land. What's supposed to make this challenger any more formidable than Sony's previous attempts? The player will retain much of the stylings of Sony's NW-A3000 / NW-A1000 players (pictured), but will take some flat and rectangular cues from Apple, while managing to be smaller than Apple's player. This new Walkman's claim to fame is 8 to 10 hours of video playback, and with battery life being a historically strong point for Sony, and Apple's nano lacking video playback altogether, Sony could very well win some points with this one. The screen will be designed for landscape viewing and will be larger than the nano's. Buttons and interface should be similar to the A3000 series and Sony will have violet, black, blue and pink flavors at launch. Prices should be fairly competitive and the launch is expected to take place in March. That gives us about a month to figure out if this report is pure baloney, but along with ATRACLife's trust in the source, most of these specs are pretty much do-or-die for Sony in the cutthroat PMP space, so we're going to go with "cautiously optimistic" for the moment.

Vista successor "Vienna" planned for late 2009