As we broke the news first and then reiterated after some Sony (NYSE: SNE) FUD in this regard, comes the official news out of the company:it will be phasing out the Connect Music Services (based on Sony’s ATRAC audio format) in North America and Europe. Specific timing will vary by region depending on market demand, but will not be before March 2008, the company said. The Connect e-book service for the Sony Reader will not be affected.
This comes as Sony announced its new line of Walkmans in U.S.: the two new Walkman players will support video for the first time. The new NWZ-A810 and NWZ-S610 series will have a QVGA screen for video playback…more importantly, the players support Windows Media Audio (WMA), as well as the more open AAC and MP3 music formats, plus JPEG files for photos, in addition to the AVC (H.264/AVC) Baseline Profile and MPEG-4 video codecs. Some more details here.