Gizmodo has a roundup of all the personal video players shown at CES last week, and there are approximately a bagillion of them set to launch this year.
I have to admit, as much as I like my TiVo and find viewing movies and shows on a computer useful in some cases, I'm not sold on the utility of a dedicated personal video player, nor do I think they'd be wildly successful in the US. I've heard from many folks that they're big in Japan because most people in a major city take a long subway ride to and from work, so personal players are convenient ways to catch up on TV and news. In America though, most everyone drives a car (aside from a few major cities) and you can't view a TV while operating (not legally or safely) a car when commuting to and from work.
The only time I could see wanting one of these personally would be during flights across the country. I don't fly more than once a month, so my laptop serves as my personal video player just fine. Also, Sony and other electronics manufacturers have been selling handheld TV receivers for decades, without anything more than moderate uptake among sports fans. I'm still not sure there is any market for a personal video device, even though a video iPod sounds cool on the surface.
Maybe I've completely missed this one. Do personal video players have enough of a niche and a chance for big sales in the US? How would you use one, and would it be worth spending $500 on a device that only did video playback?