Sony was one of the early innovators in, and suppliers of, eReaders, but sales of early models were handicapped by Sony's reliance on a proprietary eBook standard, need to link to a PC to load books, and relatively high price compared to Amazon's Kindle. Sony seems to have learned from its plethora of DRM and proprietary standard problems, and is not focused on enhancing usability rather than controlling content use.
Sony's new eReader is promoted as the lightest eReader yet, and will include WiFi, and is equipped with the capacity to link to an emerging public library eBook system. Member libraries offer not only WiFi connectivity to patrons, but allow those with valid library cards to "borrow" eBooks from their growing collections. The idea of library eBook access is fairly well tested, with several smaller national libraries in other countries permitting their citizens access to digital copies of books and materials in the public domain, or where licensing permits. The partnership with US and Canadian public libraries should prove a boon to both libraries and readers.
The new eReader also takes advantage of Sony's scale, coming with a coupon to visit the new Pottermore website and download the first Harry Potter eBook. Sony is a sponsor of the Pottermore site, and the exclusive retailer of the Harry Potter eBooks.
This new trend in eReaders - collaboration with authors, libraries and newspapers will impact the way people read. The interactive aspect of eBooks - the ability to highlight, bookmark and write notes in the margins - has already started to be popular and is only going to become more popular.
Sources - Sony Wi-Fi (PRS-T1) revealed, Harry Potter Involved, SlashGear
Pottermore website: http://www.pottermore.com/