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Sony Sues Over PlayStation Emulator - Connectix - Company Business and Marketing

Arik Hesseldahl

New York-Sony is at odds with a computer software firm over an program that allows users of Macintosh computers to play games made for the PlayStation video game console.

Sony has sued San Mateo, Calif.- based Connectix in a San Francisco federal court, claiming the software firm's Virtual Game Station constitutes both a copyright infringement and a patent violation.

Connectix, which makes, among other things, Virtual PC, a Windows emulator for the Macintosh, unveiled the PlayStation emulator at the Macworld trade show in January where it won the "Best of Show" award. The company also makes the Ram Doubler and Speed Doubler software programs, and until last September, made the QuickCam digital camera now made by Logitech.

Sony says the program works around its anti-piracy technology meant to prevent the distribution of counterfeit games. A counterfeit game, Sony argues, would be easier to play than a legitimately purchased game because of the way the Connectix emulator is written. This could encourage piracy, making the platform less attractive to Sony game developers.

Connectix defiantly announced that it is going ahead with plans to ship an updated version of the product.

"Connectix believes our pioneering emulation technology gives consumers more choice in the hardware they use to run popular software applications," said Connectix chief executive officer Roy McDonald in a written statement. "We have offered this ability successfully and without controversy for years in the PC emulation market and intend to defend the consumer's right to this functionality in the PlayStation market space as well."

"As a software developer and publisher Connectix strongly opposes the use of illegal copies of our product or PlayStation titles. We have developed technology specifically designed to prohibit the use of pirated PlayStation titles with Connectix Virtual Game Station. We've worked hard to prevent use of pirated software and have added additional security technology into Version 1.1," McDonald said.

Sony said Wednesday that it had sold 4 million PlayStation consoles during the 1998 holiday season, 40 percent more than during the same period in 1997, leaving the platform as the market leader.

COPYRIGHT 1999 Cahners Publishing Company
COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group





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