PS2 broadband adapter?
Sony's head of development Phil Harrison and UK President Chris Deerning recently announced that a highly-awaited broadband adapter for the red-hot PlayStation 2 console will be available worldwide by the end of this year. Industry watchdogs had previously expected that the add-on device would only see the light of day in Japan, but the recent announcement put those pessimistic projections to rest. The broadband adapter will allow for broadband/ethernet connectivity, and also provides a hard drive for the PS2 console. Furthermore, Sony confirmed that the American and European versions of the product will be released significantly earlier than was originally expected.
It was previously believed that releasing the broadband adapter before 2001's close would be futile because the obligatory broadband/ADSL/ISDN connections are relatively rare in the homes of game players. However, the benefits of the product have apparently been reassessed, as the company is now stressing the adapter's extensive hard drive space and network adapter.
While Harrison and Deering were stingy with specific information concerning the size of the hard drive, the two did confirm that it would feature "double figures gigabytes." The representatives also stressed that the hard drive would be pivotal in providing developers with new options for the creation of future titles.
Many industry experts have postulated that Sony's recent move was a ploy to countervail any advantage boasted by Microsoft's Xbox, as Harrison described at length a system of distribution whereby a piece of software could be obtained for free by the consumer and then passed to an acquaintance. The upcoming product will also make possible new editors, levels and elements, loosening the shackles around the feet of developers frustrated by the equivocal architecture of the PlayStation 2.
1/29/2001 Bryan Keers