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Video Game Console Wars... PS2 Prepares

Techstination feature for Monday, May 21, 2001

The video game console wars begin. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bloomberg Bootcamp. This week... .a look at the upcoming multi-billion dollar battle between Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. Sony has had a head start... .with the introduction of its Playstation2 console last Fall. To fend off new competition from Microsoft and Nintendo... .Sony has announced a series of add-ons and a new alliance with AOL. Sony Computer Entertainment head Kaz Hirai...

"We're going to be working with AOL to take some of their most popular features... specifically instant messaging and also email... and allowing the content developers that create content for the Playstation2 to incorporate those features in their online game development. So, as an example, if you have a strategy game that you're playing online, you can instant message your team mates or buddies."

On the hardware front... .Sony will market a network adaptor... a hard drive, along with a keyboard, mouse and LCD monitor for the PS2. Sounds a lot like they're turning it into a computer system...

"We wanted to make sure that we have all the options available not only in the offline environment but also in the online environment as well."

It's no coincidence that the add-ons ... will give the PS2 many of the same capabilities Microsoft has been touting for its upcoming Xbox. One big advantage Sony has over its competitors is that the PS2 can play all of those games that were sold for the original Playstation... which found its way into a third of American households. Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin, Bloomberg Radio.