PlayStation2: The future of online gaming

In one part of the exhibition hall, the White Rabbit version of The Matrix DVD was running on more than a dozen PS2s. The White Rabbit version uses all the capabilities of deluxe model DVD players. It is interactive and capable of multiple languages. Viewers can watch a scene then view a documentary-style explanation of how the scene was created, with the documentary showing full screen or as a window in the main movie. PS2 handled it with ease.

Farther down the hall an interactive movie based on a Japanese love story was playing on another dozen PS2s, with eager volunteers steering the storyline and controlling the actors' actions and emotions. The dividing line between the games and movie industries was suddenly very blurred.

"I think you will see a number of young movie producers turning to DVD games as a way to getting ahead. They are cheaper to produce but they still require good production/scripting and direction," said Sony Computer Entertainment's head of European PR, Liz Ashford. "Other game developers are going to have to spend more time developing a script because PlayStation 2 provides them with so much more than they have had in the past."

There were 27 games on display at the festival - some more advanced than others - but that was enough to give the eager fans an idea of what to expect. They revealed that developers were revelling in the graphics power and overall grunt of the PlayStation.

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David Hellaby

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