Japan says PS2 could be a weapon and slows exports.
Once again Sony came across a problem with the Japanese government in the same case concerning the power of the PS2 that could be used for military purposes. The Trade Ministry will require special permits to allow the Playstation 2 system to be exported outside of Japan. After Sony's PS2 fired up the sales charts, the company is aiming to go global.
The reason for the export restrictions is very simple. The government is afraid that the powerful parts, especially the Emotion Engine processor that could be used to power guided missiles can be used to enhance certain weapons. The processor's power to produce high quality images can be used to improve the control over the guided missiles by generating images in real-time and sending it to a control center where someone could position the missile to go toward the right direction. Of course technically advanced countries already have this technology anyway but Japan is worried about the countries that don't have the technology of this caliber yet and can use it against them.
To Sony, this is not anything that is taken too seriously, as some officials stated, this only means that there will be a need for more paperwork. Playstation 2 was released in Japan on March 4th and is expected to hit the US and European markets by the end of 2000.