Let the Games Begin ... PlayStation®2 Is Now Online!

Consumers Nationwide Can Now Play Games Online Via the Best-Selling Gaming Platform


Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. today made online console gaming a reality in North America with the consumer release of the Network Adaptor (Ethernet/modem) (for PlayStation®2). PlayStation fans in San Francisco and New York City lined up to be among the first to experience online gameplay via PlayStation 2 during a live, bi-coastal online tournament to launch the Network Adaptor, which is now available at retail outlets nationwide for a suggested retail price of $39.99.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000510/SFW104-a )

With a North American installed base of more than 11 million units -- nearly six times that of its closest competitor -- consumer demand for online gaming with PlayStation 2 is expected to reach new heights as a result of the Network Adaptor's launch. Since Sony Computer Entertainment America's initial announcement of its online plans, consumers have been anxiously awaiting the release of the Network Adaptor, with many retailers organizing pre-orders prior to the launch date. Sony Computer Entertainment America will initially ship 400,000 Network Adaptors this calendar year and expects cumulative shipments to reach 500,000 units by March 31, 2003. PlayStation 2 will be the first online gaming option for the mass market, and is set to amass the largest online console gaming community in just four short months.

"Today, online console gaming has officially begun with the launch of the Network Adaptor," said Kaz Hirai, president and chief operating officer, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. "This opens up entirely new worlds of entertainment for PlayStation fans. Sony Computer Entertainment America is honored to once again raise industry standards by being the first to deliver this exciting next step in the evolution of computer entertainment."

During the event to launch the Network Adaptor, New Yorkers went head-to-head with San Francisco gaming enthusiasts in the company's first-ever public online tournament via the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system. Fans cheered their city's gamer-representatives as they trash-talked, smashed, leg-sweeped and tackled their rivals on opposite ends of the continent.

  Players Nationwide Tear It Up For Gridiron Superiority in NFL GameDay™

The NFL football season kicked off early this year as the New York Giants took on the San Francisco 49ers in Sony Computer Entertainment America's online tournament to determine gridiron superiority. PlayStation fans in New York and San Francisco assumed the roles of legendary players, then blocked, passed, tackled and punted their way towards the virtual end zone in NFL GameDay 2003 from 989 Sports. The online tournament heated up as players from each city took advantage of NFL GameDay's in-game chat mode to trash-talk their opponents.

  New Yorkers and San Franciscans Enlist in Special Forces on SOCOM: U.S.
   Navy SEALs

New York and San Francisco PlayStation fans teamed up to battle virtual terrorists in today's online tournament that showcased the highly anticipated title SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs. Two teams of four players assumed either the roles of SEAL commanders or terrorists, then worked with fellow team members to defeat the other side. New Yorkers and San Franciscans teamed up to maneuver their way through Demolition, Hostage Rescue and Suppression game types. The highlight of the tournament was when players donned the USB headset to verbally communicate with fellow team members located thousands of miles away.

PlayStation Delivers on Consumer Demand for Online Games

Sony Computer Entertainment America has been aggressively developing its online strategy for PlayStation 2 for some time, with initial consumer Beta testing beginning in March 2002.

Overall results indicate overwhelming consumer desire for online gaming:

-- Consumers are already playing games with friends -- Nearly 70 percent of videogame consumers play games with friends, while another 29 percent play both by themselves and with friends. (Source: Sony Computer Entertainment America)

-- Consumers see lots of advantages to online gameplay -- Just over 70 percent of videogame consumers say that "playing against friends" and "playing demos of games prior to release" are the greatest advantages to online gameplay. Other advantages consumers cited include being able to play against gamers they don't know, testing skills against other players, winning prizes, and playing in tournaments. (Source: Sony Computer Entertainment America)

-- Consumers are awaiting Internet-enabled games -- Nearly all -- 93 percent -- of videogame consumers are interested in connecting their PlayStation 2 to the Internet. (Source: Sony Computer Entertainment America)

Going Online with PlayStation 2

Going online with PlayStation 2 requires the addition of a Network Adaptor for PlayStation 2. The Network Adaptor is a first-of-its kind connectivity device that combines a 10/100 Ethernet connection with a 56K V.90 analog modem that allows network access to a wide spectrum of consumers regardless of their in-home broadband or narrowband connectivity choice. Consumers with an in-home Internet Service Provider (ISP) account and the Network Adaptor will be able to play friends and rivals across the Internet via PlayStation 2 games specifically designed to take advantage of this capability.

The Network Adaptor comes with a bundled Start-Up Disc to ensure consumers can quickly and easily equip their PlayStation 2 with online connectivity. The disc will consist of the following:

   -- Start-Up Disc connectivity setup
   -- Help video and documentations
   -- Interactive game demos
   -- Sneak peek "coming soon" videos
   -- Mail-in coupon - Twisted Metal:Black™ ONLINE for free

In addition to NFL GameDay and SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs, other highly anticipated online titles available for PlayStation 2 at launch include:

-- Twisted Metal:Black ONLINE -- A perfect example of how online gameplay creates a new world of infinite possibilities, the action in Twisted Metal:Black ONLINE heats up with a more dynamic environment that's dependent on the interaction of multiple live players from across the nation. With up to eight players utilizing a broadband connection, or two players using an analog connection, gamers will enjoy four game modes, including Death Match, Last Man Standing, Man Hunt and Collector.

-- Madden NFL™ 2003 from EA Sports -- Exclusively for PlayStation 2, Madden NFL 2003 online, from Electronic Arts, features an online lobby where gamers can meet, greet and chat, as well as download current player rosters throughout the NFL season; friends can also challenge one another coast-to-coast in one of the most competitive football videogames available.

-- SEGA Sports™ NFL 2K3 from Sega of America -- Compete head-to-head with other online players with Sega's NFL 2K3, that offers ESPN broadcast presentation, new franchise modes, improved play calling, award-winning play-by-play commentary, highly detailed player models, redesigned 3D stadiums, and more.

In total, 13 online titles for PlayStation 2 are expected to launch this year, including:

   -- SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs from Sony Computer Entertainment America
   -- Twisted Metal:Black ONLINE from Sony Computer Entertainment America
   -- ATV Offroad Fury™ 2 from Sony Computer Entertainment America
   -- NFL GameDay 2003 from Sony Computer Entertainment America
   -- My Street™ from Sony Computer Entertainment America
   -- Frequency™ 2 from Sony Computer Entertainment America
   -- Madden NFL 2003 from EA Sports
   -- NBA Live 2003 from EA Sports
   -- Tribes™ Aerial Assault from Sierra Entertainment
   -- Tony Hawk's Pro Skater™ 4 from Activision
   -- SEGA Sports NFL 2K3 from Sega of America
   -- SEGA Sports™ NBA 2K3 from Sega of America
   -- SEGA Sports™ NCAA College Basketball from Sega of America
   -- automodellista from Capcom

  About Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.

Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. continues to redefine the entertainment lifestyle with its PlayStation® and PS one™ game console, and the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. The PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system is set to revolutionize the home entertainment market, offering the most compelling interactive content and the capability to be used as a network terminal in the coming broadband era.

Recognized as the undisputed industry leader, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. markets the PlayStation family of products and develops, publishes, markets and distributes software for the PS one game console and the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system for the North American market. Based in Foster City, Calif. Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. serves as headquarters for all North American operations and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.


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SOURCE: Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.

CONTACT: Monica Wik, +1-650-655-5394, or
monica_wik@playstation.sony.com, or Teresa Weaver, +1-650-655-5324, or
teresa_weaver@playstation.sony.com, both of Sony Computer Entertainment

Web site: http://www.playstation.com/