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Thursday, 20 December, 2001, 16:29 GMT
Sony targets broadband for PS2
Sony and AOL
Sony and AOL are key players in the digital age
Sony's PlayStation2 is to be used for broadband network services

Japan's Sony Computer Entertainment has joined forces with Yahoo's Japanese unit in providing broadband network services based on Sony's PlayStation2 (PS2) games console.

The services, due to start early next year, will provide PS2 users with Yahoo content and an opportunity to communicate during online game playing.

Users will be able to browse the net, read Yahoo news and even bid in online auctions.

Play online

Sony Computer stands to benefit as more consumers buy the best-selling game device to take advantage of its ability to access the Internet.

Final Fantasy X game
More than just games
For billionaire Masayoshi Son's Softbank, which owns 50.8% of Yahoo Japan, the agreement may attract more subscribers to the high-speed internet service operated by the bank.

It is expected that the software for the new services will be distributed through Softbank's publications.

The new services will be offered in March on a trial basis with full commercial services scheduled to start in April.

Tomorrow's internet?

The vast majority of today's internet users rely on their personal computers, but many in the industry believe the future of home entertainment lies in linking everyday gadgets to the internet or similar networks.

Sony is fighting to keep its place at the top of the games market as it faces increased pressure from Microsoft and Nintendo.

Sony hopes that its new games console with a high-speed connection will be an alternative to personal computers for net shoppers and bidders.

AOL tie-up

Last month the company revealed its plans to unite with AOL Time Warner, one of the leaders of the internet market, in developing new means of high-speed connections for play consoles, televisions and mobile phones.

PS2 users will be able to get music, film, news and traditional forms of broadcasting from a range of next generation technologies.

Even games for the console itself will be available for online purchase.

Last week, Sony Computer said it would provide PS2 games through a high-speed broadband internet service from Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT).

The companies said in a joint statement they would launch the broadband PlayStation services on a subscription fee basis in April 2002.

A modem to link Sony's Playstation2 console to the internet should be available early in 2002.

See also:

25 Oct 01 | Business
Sony warns of tough times ahead
14 Nov 01 | New Media
Sony and AOL strike broadband deal
28 Sep 01 | New Media
Sony fuels games price war
26 Sep 01 | Wales
Sony to axe jobs
24 Sep 01 | New Media
Sony trials anti-piracy CD
29 Aug 01 | Music
Dixie Chicks sue Sony for $4m
28 Aug 00 | Business
Understanding broadband
28 Aug 01 | Business
Ericsson and Sony in mobile tie-up
27 Jul 01 | Business
Sony punished for profit slump
26 Jul 01 | Business
Consumer slump triggers Sony loss
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