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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 July, 2003, 09:20 GMT 10:20 UK
PlayStation turns web browser
Screengrab of PlayStation web screen, Martyn Brook
The Brookfresh home page
A PlayStation2 enthusiast has found a way to turn the games console into a web browser.

Web designer Martyn Brook has discovered that the console can be made to view almost any webpage instead of just those associated with Sony's online gaming service.

Mr Brook has created a homepage that acts like a familiar web browser and lets PlayStation owners navigate around the web.

Already his specially designed website is getting steady traffic from testers and players of Sony's gaming system.

Gaming and browsing

Sony launched its online gaming service in the UK in early June. It gives players to the chance to play with or against other PS2 owners over the net.

Start the Network Access Disc
Go to "Get Connected"
Go to "Advanced Options"
Choose "Configure External Network Device"
Select the settings file
Type in this net address
You should see the Brookfresh homepage
Like other operators of online console services, Sony is keen to encourage players to visit its gaming homepage when you log on.

But PlayStation2 (PS2) enthusiast Martyn Brook has found that it is possible to change the net address the PlayStation first looks for, allowing players to view almost any website.

"It's a bit of a hack really," he said.

"I noticed there was a way you can put an IP address into the network adapter and from there realised I could put in an address of a webpage and create your own browser," he said.

The webpage found at www.brookfresh.co.uk has been designed for PS2 browsing. It inserts an address bar across the top of every page to help people navigate back and forth.

The surrogate browser should be able to cope with almost any website, said Mr Brook.

Socom screenshot, Sony
Stealth and teamwork are essential in online PS2 game Socom
Users can type in addresses using a joypad or, much more easily, with a USB keyboard.

Soon Mr Brook will add a way for users of the site to bookmark favourite sites so they can revisit them quickly. Once this has been done he said that he would start work on an e-mail service.

Web browsing via the PS2 is quick because the UK service can only be joined via a broadband link.

Mr Brook said that the software for the US version of the online service was different, making it difficult for Americans to browse the net via their console.

So far the PS2 browsing page has only been mentioned on the discussion forums for early testers of the service. Despite this the site is already getting up to 100 visitors per day.

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