By Claire Reilly

Sony has announced the launch of the new Sony Tablet to the Australian market, three months after Berlin’s IFA consumer electronics show, with the company ambitiously stating it “aims to be the number two tablet manufacturer in the Australian market by 2012”.

The “much anticipated” tablet hit stores yesterday, according to a spokesperson from Sony, and features “the most innovative and leading technologies from across the Sony group of companies”. These include features such as PlayStation gaming capability: the tablet is the first of its kind to be PlayStation certified, and allows users to download games from the PlayStation store.

In addition, the wedge-shaped device offers access to “millions of songs and the latest movies through Sony Entertainment Network” and features a universal remote and DLNA compatibility that allows for the images, videos and music content to be shared across other devices.

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The tablet utilises the Android 3.1 Honeycomb operating system and features an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor and 9.4-inch display.

One of the aspects of the tablet that may keep it permanently in second place – whether that’s to the Apple iPad or other Android tablets – is the fact that the tablet is only available with Wi-Fi connectivity. At the tablet launch event in September, Sony representatives suggested that a 3G model was “to follow” at an unknown point in the future.

The Sony Tablet is available to purchase on the Sony website, at Sony Centre stores and “selected retailers. The 16GB tablet is available now for RRP $579, while the 32GB model is available for RRP $689 – the same price points as the iPad2. So at least in terms of pricing, the Sony tablet is dead even.

The wedge-shaped Sony Tablet features PS gaming, DLNA compatibility and a built-in SD card slot.