Sony takes its PS2 on-line - News - introduces PlayStation 2 online adapter - Brief ArticleIan Evans
SONY has launched the first offensive in the on-line console gaming war, as the Japanese manufacturer begins shipping an on-line adaptor for its PlayStation 2 console.
The move means that PlayStation 2 owners in North America can now battle each other over the Internet. The adaptor will address the mass market by providing dial-up access as well as much more rapid broadband access, and at launch a total of 13 multi-player games will be available to play on-line.
Sony hopes to sell 400,000 adaptors by the end of the year--a fraction of the 11 million consoles in US homes.
The Japanese electronics giant is targeting the hardcore gamers who spend almost $100 (65 [pounds sterling]) a month on games, according to a new survey.
"The most important thing is that we let core gamers know we are taking the PS2 experience on-line," said Kaz Hirai, president of Sony Computer Entertainment of America.
"If you know you're good, instead of beating up you friends all the time you can go into the network and compete with others who are just as cocky as you."
Console rival Microsoft, meanwhile, will be launching its Xbox Live service on November 15 and the US company has been openly contemptuous of Sony's narrow-band strategy.
"Playing on-line games using narrow-band is like sucking pizza through a straw," said J Allard, brand manager for Xbox. "It's just not satisfying."
The Xbox, in contrast to the PS2 comes with a built-in broadband adaptor, though its decision to provide exclusively on-line billing and authentication has proved controversial.
Two of the two largest independent US publishers, Electronic Arts and Activision have already raised concerns that Microsoft may end up controlling their customers. Nintendo has not yet announced its on-line strategy.
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