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Interview with Sony about online plans

  Scanning the net, I decided to pay a visit to Core Magazine. Lo' and behold I come across an article that was too good to pass up. This is an article with Sony Computer Entertainment spokesperson Kenichi Fukunaga. We'd like to thank and credit Core Magazine for providing us this great article on Sony's online plans.

Question: Has Sony determined the number of titles that will be available at launch for the broadband PlayStation2 network in Japan? 

Fukunaga-san: The network will be open, relatively speaking, to PlayStation2 developers. Therefore, the number of third party titles supported and their release dates are entirely up to their respective developers. 

Question: Online RPG's are very popular on the PC, when can we expect to see them on the PlayStation2? 

Fukunaga-san: The broadband network will open the door for many types of games. Initially though, we'll see more add-on style compatibility. Thereby, games will include online modes rather than exclusively online play. 

Question: Can you explain the digital music and video on demand aspect of the network? 

Fukunaga-san: It will be similar to services currently available in the PC market. However, since the PlayStation2 will utilize an ID system, we'll have much more control over copyright management.

Question: In the past Sony has mentioned the possibility of offering fully downloadable games through the network. When can we expect that? 

Fukunaga-san: Since the time associated with downloading entire games ins extraordinarly long, that would be difficult to implement. For example, downloading a CD-ROM size game (650 MB) would require about 85 minutes. DVD size games would take hours. Even using ADSL connections capable of 1.5mb/s speed, there's never a constant download rate. So for the time being, the network will serve more of a support role for packaged software rather than electronically delivering games. 

Question: We've heard the network will use a system called 'Broadband Navigator,' can you tell us about that? 

Fukunaga-san: We wanted more than a simple web browsing interface for the network. The software will be similar to an operating system, and will be loaded when accessing the network. It will be optimized for loading different forms of media. 

Question: Will the 'Broadband Navigator' be similar to Square's PlayOnline network? 

Fukunaga-san: Not really. I'd say it's like operating a television. Browsing different content areas will be like changing channels. 

Question: Sony plans to offer network packages on a rental basis in Japan, why? 

Fukunaga-san: There are many factors and network possibilities for the consumer to consider. By offering rental packages, players can acquire all the necessary hardware and signup for ISP service at once. Specific pricing and package details will be announced later this spring. 

-- Translation Asst. Tsuno Okashi

1/28/2002 SolidSnake

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