Very early this morning, 12:01 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time to be precise, TeleRead.org broke the news that Sony are officially releasing a firmware update allowing the Sony Reader Digital Book PRS-505 to read the IDPF ePub formatted books – available from their website today.
The ePub standard has seen great interest of late from both professionals and amateurs alike but this is the first time were are going to be able to read ePub formatted books on a dedicated eBook device such as the Sony Reader.
The new firmware allows the Reader to view both DRMed and non-DRMed ePub/PDF files, which also means Sony users can now purchase books from vendors other than Sony itself (Fictionwise, O’Reilly, Penguin UK, etc). A short time ago we had confirmation from several publisher that they will start to provide ePub formatted books – Penguin UK announced they’ll have plenty of ePub books available from September 2008.
Waterstones/SonyStyle to sell Sony Reader in the UK!
For those of us who are UK eBook fans, Sony have partnered with the Waterstones book store in the UK to start selling the Sony Reader, available from 3rd September 2008, they will have over 25,000 titles available when they go live! You can also Pre-Order your Sony Reader UK (PRS-505) from SonyStyle.co.uk. The eBook titles to be made available at Waterstones will be released in the ePub format.
It was anticipated that both these pieces of news would be big, but the response around the net has been just huge. There’s been a lot of activity and hype surrounding the Amazon Kindle recently but this news shows that Sony are by no means going to play the underdog.
All-in-all, this has been a great day for the Sony Reader, Waterstones and of course all of us who wish to see the ePub format succeed.
I only have the PRS-500 myself so I’d love to hear from any readers out there on how easy it is to update, transfer and read ePub books on the Sony Reader.