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PS2's online set sail

  First Sony stunned the world by revealing the Playstation 2 just a couple of days after Sega launches the Dreamcast in the US. Then Sony unlocks the floodgates and 3rd parties unleash a hellishly marvelous line-up of videogames throughout the whole holiday season last year, once again acting on the offensive as Sony quickly hushes the hype and makes Xbox and GameCube sales look comparable to a lemonade stand. They've done it yet again, today in fact. 9 days before the launch of the Xbox in Japan, Sony once again hit the industry with an exciting strike. Sony Computer Entertainment has revealed its PlayStation 2 broadband network, officially titled PlayStationBB. Sony has made it official that the service will launch this April (a mere 2 and half months from now). An internet browser, called the Broadband Navigator will allow its users to surf the net and download multimedia such as games, movies, music, streaming webcasts, and etc. The software that will come packaged with PlayStationBB will grant it users instant messaging and emailing capabilities. The Broadband Navigator features an emulator that will allow users to play downloaded PS2 or PSX games straight off of their gigantic 40GB HDD, which by the way will serve as the storage facility for your downloads. An MP3 player called the Playstation Jukebox will play your audio off of your HDD, and a specific PS2 version of RealPlayer will play your video content - be it streaming or off the HDD, as well. 

  How much is all of this going to cost you? Well, accessories aside, internet service providers such as NTT Broadband will charge a mere $11 (1,500 YEN) per month, for Sony's online service. Sony Computer Entertainment President, Ken Kutaragi, explained at today's press conference that by signing deals with 4 of Japan's most known ISPs, Sony covers over 70 percent of Japan's broadband users. "PlayStation 2 has the potential to become the world's largest broadband platform," said Kutaragi. 

  Sony will in fact allow its users to download Playstation 2 games onto the PS2. Mention of purchasing equipment (presumably the HDD and network adapter) can be done two ways. One, you buy them on the spot for a total of $135 (18,000 YEN). Or two, you will pay Sony monthly, approximately $8 (1,160) over a course of 18 months to cover your purchase gradually. 

  In addition to all of this, Sony has said that they will be implementing PS2 technology into their DVD players and video cameras. 3rd party like Capcom, Namco, and Konami were at the event to announce their online titles for the PS2. Below is a full list:


  • The Dungeon of Doruaga 
  • Atlus
  • Massively Multiplayer Online RPG (No title) 
  • Capcom
  • Auto Modellista
  • Resident Evil Online (working title) 
  • From Software
  • Armored Core Sigma 


  • Tokyo Xtreme Racing Online 


  • Bomberman Online (working title) 


  • Nobunaga's Ambition online RPG (may eventually turn into Kessen -- working title) 


  • Music game (presumably a Bemani title, Dance Dance Revolution, Beatmania, and etc)
  • Sports game (Could be Tennis, no official word) 


  • Clockwork Online (working title)
  • Action adventure game (Presumably Dead to Rights)
  • 3D flight shooting game (presumably Ace Combat)
  • Namco online sports game (working title) 


  • Guru Guru Onsen PS2 (working title)
  • Hundred Swords 
  • Simulation game (untitled)
  • Racing game (possibly Daytona USA -- working title) 

Sony Computer Entertainment

  • Arc the Lad Online (working title)
  • Kuma-uta (working title)
  • Gran Turismo Online (working title)
  • Hot Shots Golf Online (working title)
  • Vib Ribbon (working title) 


  • Final Fantasy XI 


  • Network-compatible board game (untitled) 


  • Massively Multiplayer Online action adventure game (untitled)


   Hopefully E3 provides us with even a wider ray of light.

2/13/2002 Arnold Katayev

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