Sony released the device at CEATEC, a large IT show taking place here this week.
The unusual configuration results from the vagaries of Japanese television. The country has seven network stations, and cable is not as common as in the United States. With the Type X, people can record shows from all seven stations automatically and then delete what they don't want to watch.
The 500GB dedicated to TV is enough to record six channels for five and a half days nonstop, a Sony representative said. The interface helps consumers sift through the morass. It lets customers look at thumbnails of all the programs recorded during the same time slot or search for a program by name. It also groups shows by categories (sports, children and so forth) selected by the owner.
A hard partition exists between the PC drives and the audiovisual drives; however, users can manually slip a file from one side to the other.
Sony does not currently have plans to bring the device to the United States.
Additionally, Sony released a new version of its all-in-one W computer. The new model has speakers jutting out from the sides, so it operates as a home stereo when not functioning as a PC. It is being released in Japan, and Sony will study whether conditions are right to bring another all-in-one PC to the United States.