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Thursday, 31 October, 2002, 14:40 GMT
Online Playstation 2 coming to Europe
SOCOM screengrab
SOCOM: Popular game online for the PS2
Gamers in Europe will be able to play online games on their PlayStation 2 in the spring of 2003, Sony has announced.

The gaming network will first launch in the UK, followed by Germany, France, Spain and other countries throughout year.

The online arena is shaping up as the next battlefield for the console manufacturers Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.

At the moment, income from online gaming is minimal. But some analysts predict that revenues could exceed $1bn by 2006.

No fees


It will be simple to set up, exciting to play and affordable

Chris Deering, Sony
Sony is not planning to charge a monthly subscription to play online. Instead gamers will need to buy a gaming pack at a cost of 44.99.

The pack includes a network adaptor to make the Playstation 2 internet-ready, an online game and a start-up disc featuring demos of upcoming games.

Sony aims to make its broadband packs compatible to play on as many European internet service providers as possible.

"PlayStation 2 owners with broadband internet access will be able to purchase a network adaptor and immediately start playing a great selection of multiplayer games online," said Chris Deering, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.

"It will be simple to set up, exciting to play and affordable."

A range of online games will go on sale to tie in with the launch, including SOCOM: US Navy Seals, Destruction Derby Online Arena, This is Football 2004 and World Rally Championship Online.

Microsoft is planning to unleash its Xbox Live service in the UK in March, while on Wednesday Nintendo started selling online gaming adapters for its GameCube in the US.

See also:

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