PlayStation2: The future of online gaming

Sony is not making a big noise about the PS2's ‘other' capabilities, but its two USB ports and a Series III PCMCIA slot means almost anything can be added to it, such as keyboards, printers, digital cameras and so on. Nor is Sony making a big deal of its Internet capability, even though it has been designed to use a broadband Internet connection.

"There are not enough people with access to broadband yet, and there is no real point in trying online games without it. They just do not perform well enough," says Liz Ashford. "We'll roll out our Internet strategy in a couple of years, when many more people have access to a high speed connection."

That strategy will have to include a specially developed Internet browser, but it has not yet been decided whether to offer a full Internet service that includes full Web browsing facilities and e-mail, or restrict it to the ability to play or purchase games online. At this stage, it is understood the latter is favoured.

Sony is not talking about other things it has on the drawing board, nor what the next step will be in PlayStation technology. That could be as many as five years away, and at this stage the company is concentrating on getting its latest and greatest machine on the market.

In the meantime, Sony is confident it has more than enough to offer.

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