E3 2003: SCEA unveils new plans for online gaming
Great news for online gamers! The HDD will launch in North America, 9 EA games will be Playstation 2 exclusive, and a Playstation 2 Online Pack will soon be available in stores.

- Sony Computer Entertainment of America today unveiled at the E3 new plans concerning online gaming with the Playstation 2.

First of all, SCEA unveiled a new Playstation 2 Online Pack that will include a Playstation 2 console and a Network Adaptor (Ethernet/modem); the pack will be available this summer at a suggested retail price of $199, the same current retail price of a Playstation 2. According to SCEA, the decision of bundling the Network Adaptor with the Playstation 2 hardware comes as an answer to the great response of players to console online gaming, with more than 600,000 Network Adaptors sold only in North America.

An even more interesting and not so expected announcement regards the launch of the Hard Disc Drive in North America. The internal HDD, with a capacity of 40GB, will be launched simultaneously with Final Fantasy XI, Square Enix’s amazing MMORPG. Anyhow, players will have to wait a bit to put their hands on this stuff: the unit and the game should hit the store shelves in North America in the first quarter of 2004.

Finally, SCEA announced that with the purpose of dealing a “significant blow to the competition”, Electronic Arts is set to make nine of its best-selling EA Sports franchises PlayStation 2 online exclusive for the 2003 – 2004 season. Overall, by the end of 2003, up to 50 online titles should be available for the Playstation 2.

(Posted: Tuesday, May 13, 2003, 1:31PM GMT)

- Harry

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