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Sony To Launch Networking PS2 at E3

14 May, 2003 By: Holly J. Wagner

Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. will use E3 to launch entertainment convergence initiatives that include a networked PlayStation 2, a handheld game device to challenge Nintendo's Game Boy and enhancements to the PS2.

With an installed base of more than 19 million PS2 consoles in North America and more than 600,000 network adaptors sold since last August, Sony expressed a commitment to evolve PS2 as “the focal point of the living room.”

The company announced plans for release of an onboard 40GB hard disc drive with Square Enix's massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), FINAL FANTASYXI in the first quarter of 2004.

"With the battle for console supremacy decided, we are departing from the status quo in an effort to broaden the in-home entertainment market," said Kaz Hirai, president and COO, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. "At the same time, we shoulder the responsibility of the gaming industry and continue to challenge developers and publishers to further their creativity, always with the entertainment experience in mind."

Sony plans to introduce EyeToy, a USB camera that uses motion-tracking technology to project player images on-screen. The technology, promises to capture PS2 players' body movements and transforme them into on-screen interaction. Scheduled for an October release and a $39 price tag, EyeToy will include 12 mini-games based on music, puzzles, sports and other genres.

The company also announced plans to launch a USB headset for PS2 that utilizes Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and voice recognition (VR) technologies for use with online and offline games for PS2.

Sony titles slated for $29.99 USB headset add-on include:SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs, Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain, NFL GameDay 2004, NBA ShootOut 2004 and NCAA GameBreaker 2004. The device is scheduled for September release.

A new PS2 Online Pack is to include everything consumers need. The pack will combine the PS2 console with a network adaptor (ethernet/modem) to enable easy access to the PS2 online community over analog or broadband Internet connections. The pack will replace the existing hardware SKU and be available this summer for $199.

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