Sony plans to have a broadband PlayStation 2 gaming network up and running in Australia by next winter.
The vendor is currently in negotiation with Internet service providers as to how the service will work, what it will cost and how the ISPs will make their money. Consumer trials are planned with a limited but as yet unspecified number of ISPs early next year.
“PlayStation 2 owners with broadband Internet access will be able to purchase a network adapter and play a selection of multiplayer games online,” said Chris Deering, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.
“Our philosophy is to have a very diverse and inclusive platform that will enable content companies, games publishers and ISP portals to provide consumers with the broadest selection of new online experiences and entertainment from a variety of sources,” he said.
Available through retail and ISP channels, titles will include SOCOM: Navy Seals, Hardware: Twisted Metal Online, Frequency 2, and ATV Offroad as well as Sony’s This is Football and World Rally Championship Online.
Sony claims thousands of players in North America regularly take part in US Navy Seals -- the first online console game with communication between players -- and Electronic Arts’ Madden NFL 2003. The company also said that more than 100,000 players are connected to the gaming network in Japan.