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As WP's senior editor, I edit review and preview articles, attempt to keep up with the frantic pace of Rainier's news posts, and keep our reviewers on deadline, which is akin to herding cats. When I have a moment to myself and don't have my nose in a book, I like to play action/RPG, adventure and platforming games...

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Slimmer 'PlayStation 2' Now Available

by Judy on Nov. 1, 2004 @ 8:01 a.m. PST

Preparing the market for the upcoming holiday selling season, Sony today announced the availability of a new, redesigned PlayStation 2. With the widest distribution base of any platform ever available, the new PlayStation 2 can now be purchased at more than 20,000 doors/retail locations for a suggested retail price of $149.99.

Equipped with an integrated Ethernet port for network gaming, the new PlayStation 2 will enable the company to maintain market momentum as it expands its online console gaming community, the largest in North America with more than 1.6 million registered users.

Incorporating the same functionalities and technology of the original, the new PlayStation 2 has been aesthetically modified and as a result, internal volume has been reduced by 75 percent, overall weight has been halved, and thickness trimmed over 35 percent to slightly larger than a DVD case. Built-in Ethernet enables out-of-the-box online gaming, and unlike any other gaming console, an analog modem port is also included for non-broadband gaming. The new console includes the same two memory-card slots and two controller slots, the same USB functionality as the original PlayStation 2, and comes with one DUALSHOCK 2 analog controller (for PlayStation 2). Additionally, the unit now comes with an external AC power adaptor to reduce power consumption and a new round base, sold separately, for vertical display.

"Response to the new PlayStation 2 has been amazing," said Dan DeMatteo, President and COO of GameStop, a leading videogame retailer. "We've seen a steady increase in consumer demand throughout our stores nationwide, with sales of PlayStation 2 rising to well above our expectations."

Consumer demand further solidifies Sony Computer Entertainment America and PlayStation 2 as the industry leader. Today found in one out of every four U.S. households, the PlayStation 2 game console has already reshaped the concept of entertainment for many consumers. In just four years, PlayStation 2 has dominated the marketplace with a North American installed base of more than 27 million consoles. PlayStation 2 continues to maintain market dominance, holding an over 58 percent of the U.S. next generation hardware market share life-to-date, according to the NPD Group.

"The introduction of the redesigned unit came when we felt it was strategically the best timing to expand the market, and it's gratifying to see consumers respond so positively as we enter the holiday selling season," said Jack Tretton, executive vice president, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "Consumers continue to place their confidence in the longevity of PlayStation 2, which we see as absolutely essential to the health of the industry."

The new PlayStation 2 will support CDs, DVDs and all of the 2,000 titles in the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 catalogue, as well as the more than 55 additional titles currently under development to be released by year-end. Strongly supported by software developers and publishers, PlayStation 2 is indisputably the most popular computer entertainment system in the world and the new design will position it for even greater success over the next half of its life.

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