Sony announced today that its Reader, the digital book viewing device released nearly two years ago, will now support electronic books and other publications released in EPUB format. EPUB, a file extension set as an industry standard by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) and favored by an increasing number of publishers, is designed to allow readers to view digital texts using a variety of e-book readers. Sony Readers had previously been compatible with only e-books sold by the company's own store.
"The Reader is an open device and we will continue to explore formats that will provide the widest variety of content for Reader users," said Steve Haber, senior vice president of consumer product marketing for Sony Electronics, in a press release. "This upgrade opens the door to a whole host of paid and free content from third-party e-book stores, Web sites and even public libraries."
Current owners of the Reader can now upgrade their existing devices with EPUB compatibility software from the Sony Web site. New devices equipped with EPUB support will be released next month, retailing for about three hundred dollars.
Sony, which is a member of IDPF, is the first manufacturer of e-book readers to adopt the EPUB standard. The Reader's main competitor, the Amazon Kindle, does not yet support EPUB publications.