Sony Computer Entertainment America Launches Internal Hard Disk Drive for PlayStation®2, the Next Step in the Evolution of Online Gaming
Highly Anticipated FINAL FANTASY®XI to be Pre-installed on 40GB Hard Disk Drive
FOSTER CITY, Calif.
Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. announced today a new internal Hard Disk Drive (40GB) (for PlayStation®2) and said the new hardware comes pre-installed with the wildly popular FINAL FANTASY®XI. Developed by Square Enix and published by Sony Computer Entertainment America, FINAL FANTASY XI is the new online-only title that comes exclusively on the internal Hard Disk Drive for a suggested retail price of $99.
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The launch of the internal Hard Disk Drive is the next evolution in Sony Computer Entertainment America's commitment to offering an unparalleled entertainment experience to its rapidly growing online community. The launch of this hardware addition and content offering is the first step to ushering in a new era of digital entertainment through the PlayStation 2.
FINAL FANTASY XI offers gamers a dynamic online adventure in a persistent world, breaking traditional gaming barriers and expanding the opportunities with online gaming by allowing cross-platform, cross-continent gameplay between a PlayStation 2 and a PC. Now for the first time gamers won't be bound by geographic region or platform obstacles, and can enter an ever evolving world of online gaming.
"True to its business philosophy of delivering technology when the market is ready and with full content support, the Hard Disk Drive delivers the features that consumers want most," said Andrew House, executive vice president, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "With 2.6 million network ready PlayStation 2 consoles in more than 25 million homes throughout North America, the internal Hard Disk Drive paves the way for delivering countless forms of digital entertainment to this massive audience."
Internal Hard Disk Drive: Expanding the Entertainment Experience
The launch of the internal Hard Disk Drive opens a new world for gamers by enabling the possibility of new entertainment experiences with PlayStation 2 such as downloadable and episodic content and episodic experiences. This is the next phase of Sony Computer Entertainment's vision to use PlayStation 2 as an entertainment vehicle to distribute new forms of entertainment content. Product features include 40GB of storage, faster caching times and the ability to download content for online games such as new tracks, stadiums and characters.
FINAL FANTASY XI: Experiencing A New Online World
FINAL FANTASY XI is a multiplayer online role-playing-game (MMORPG) that brings the same innovative gameplay and deep storyline from the FINAL FANTASY series, which made the franchise one of the most popular videogame series in the world, with more than 49 million units sold to date.
A brand-new FINAL FANTASY experience awaits gamers as they live in and navigate through a "persistent world" that continues to evolve and develop, even when they are not playing. The introduction of the internal Hard Disk Drive provides players with the unique opportunity to experience a completely new gaming world online with large communities, complex gameplay in intense online environments and a constantly, refreshed gameplay experience with the ability to download updates. Various communication tools have been incorporated into FINAL FANTASY XI to assist in interaction between players, including easy-to-use chat and messaging systems.
FINAL FANTASY XI utilizes the Network Adaptor (Ethernet/modem)(for PlayStation 2) and the internal Hard Disk Drive (40GB) (for PlayStation 2) to allow players to connect online, either via broadband or dial-up connection, and join in the ever-changing world of "Vana'deil." Players can create their alter ego that will exist in the world of Vana'deil, and be able to customize characters by race, sex, country of origin, and numerous physical traits. In FINAL FANTASY XI, players will become immersed in an expansive, original storyline as they go on missions and build up their character's skills and attributes, either alone or with other members of the community, ultimately creating the history of Vana'deil.
Pricing and Availability
Available immediately for a $99 suggested retail price (SRP), the internal Hard Disk Drive attaches to the Network Adaptor (Ethernet/modem) (for PlayStation 2), which connects to both broadband or dial-up networks, and slides easily into the expansion bay of the PlayStation 2 system.
About PlayOnline™ from Square Enix
FINAL FANTASY XI for PlayStation 2 will give gamers an innovative, online cross-platform gameplay experience between console and personal computer, and allows players to connect either via broadband or dial-up connections. Players will be required to register via PlayOnline, a network service created by Square Enix serving as the gateway to the FINAL FANTASY XI universe. Players will be charged a monthly fee to play FINAL FANTASY XI separate from Internet Service Provider (ISP) access charges. Subscribers will receive their first 30 days of access without charge. After 30 days, FINAL FANTASY XI will be available on a month-to-month subscription basis for $12.95 (USD) a month, which includes one character. Players can create new characters for an additional charge of $1.00 (USD) per character, per month. Tetra Master®, the online version of the immensely popular mini-game from FINAL FANTASY IX will also be included with the package and available for $1.00 (USD) per month.
About Square Enix Co., Ltd. and Square Enix U.S.A., Inc.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Square Enix Co., Ltd. (Square Enix) develops, publishes and distributes entertainment contents including interactive entertainment software and publications in Japan, North America, Europe and Asia. The recent merger between Square and Enix brought two of Japan's best-selling franchises -- FINAL FANTASY®, sold over 49 million units worldwide and DRAGON QUEST (DRAGON WARRIOR® in North America) sold over 34 million units worldwide -- under one roof. Both known to be pioneers in the role-playing game (RPG) genre, the unification of Square and Enix has created one of the most influential providers of entertainment content in the world.
Square Enix U.S.A. Inc., located in Los Angeles, Calif., handles operations in North America including localization, marketing and publishing of Square Enix titles. More information on Square Enix U.S.A. can be found on the Internet at http://www.square-enix-usa.com/ .
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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