Sony Corporation announced in Tokyo this week that it will be launching a set of Android-based Walkman portable players in Japan on December 10.

The new smartphone-like devices will be the first in the Sony “Z” series and are expected to bring high-quality sound for users to enjoy their movies, audio, and other Android apps.

Three versions will be available: a 16-gigabyte version (model NW-Z1050) estimated to cost US$365 (JPY28,000), a 32-gigabyte version (model NW-Z1060) estimated to cost US$430 (JPY33,000), and a 64-gigabyte version (model NW-Z1070) estimated to cost US$560 (JPY43,000).

Sony is hoping to get a wider share of the Japanese market for digital music players. Six million digital music players are estimated to be sold by March, 2012.

Speaking to The Mainichi Daily News, Toshimichi Nagashima, head of Sony’s mobile business group, has indicated Sony’s willingness to bring the Walkman Z players to other markets besides Japan, although Nagashima did not provide specific details.

The portable player has a 4.3-inch LCD touchscreen (800×480 resolution) and runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The device can be used for audio listening, movie playback, gaming, and Web browsing.

Japanese tech site AV Watch reports that the Sony Walkman Z will be carrying a dual-core 1.5-GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor and 512 MB of RAM. The player also comes with a Li-ion battery providing up to 20 hours of continuous music playback, 1080p HD video playback, HDMI output, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

A dedicated “W.” button on the right side of the device launches the W. Music Player app. The device also supports S-Master MX digital amplifier, noise cancellation, and xLOUD function.

The device’s physical dimensions measure 134.4 mm by 70.9 mm by 11.1mm (length, width, depth). It weighs 156 grams.

A recent prototype of Sony’s Android-based Walkman was displayed during the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA 2011) in Berlin bearing the name “Walkman Mobile Entertainment Player.”

If this portable media player reaches your country, would you consider buying one? Why or why not?

Image credit: AV Watch