Sony Takes PlayStation 2 Online


Sony Corp. took another step toward broadband with the announcement that it
will offer PlayStation 2 owners the option to play games online.

Starting in August, PS2 gamers can buy a special $39.99 Ethernet/dial-up
network adapter to plug into their PS2 unit's universal-serial-bus port.

This will allow them to connect to the Internet through the unit and play
online, either alone or in a multiplayer setting. They can link to the Web using
their own Internet-service provider and play games at either dial-up or
broadband connections.

Beta-testing for the adapter will begin in March.

In addition, Sony has forged marketing agreements with EarthLink Inc.,
AT&T WorldNet, SBC Communications Inc./Prodigy Communications L.P. and
Sympatico-Lycos Inc. to add their ISP information to the promotional start-up
disk provided with the adapter.

So far, Sony has sold more than 8.8 million PS2 units. The company plans to
roll out its broadband-network strategy for the PS2, offering a range of
high-speed interactive entertainment services, in the near