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About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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Sony Bundles $40 Modem Device Free With PlayStation 2

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST

In an attempt to boost sales and lure more video-game players online, Sony Corp. plans on giving buyers of its PlayStation 2 system a free modem device that previously cost $40.

Sony will now sell its PlayStation 2 standard with its Network Adapter, which allows video-game players to hook up via the Internet to compete with each other. The company didn't specify an exact start date for the promotion, but said it would happen over the summer.

Industry watchers had been uncertain whether Sony would offer any promotion, since PlayStation 2 sales have eclipsed competitors in the game-console arena, Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox

In an attempt to boost sales and lure more video-game players online, Sony Corp. plans on giving buyers of its PlayStation 2 system a free modem device that previously cost $40.

Sony will now sell its PlayStation 2 standard with its Network Adapter, which allows video-game players to hook up via the Internet to compete with each other. The company didn't specify an exact start date for the promotion, but said it would happen over the summer.

Industry watchers had been uncertain whether Sony would offer any promotion, since PlayStation 2 sales have eclipsed competitors in the game-console arena, Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox and Nintendo Co.'s GameCube.

Sony says it has sold roughly 600,000 Network Adapters at $40 each since the product was introduced in August 2002, and that gamers use the device to play over Sony's networks and networks run by third-party software producers. Microsoft's Xbox includes a modem that can only be used to access its subscription-based Xbox Live service. Microsoft says it has roughly 500,000 online-game subscribers. Nintendo thus far hasn't announced an online capability.

The new PlayStation Online Pack will retail for $199, the price the system has sold for since March 2002, when it was cut from $299. Last year, all three companies cut the base price of their systems amid stiff competition.

Sony outlined the package deal Tuesday as part of a broader announcement of its plans for new online content at the annual Electronic Entertainment Exposition, E3, in Los Angeles. The company said that by year-end, there will be 50 online-enabled games available for PlayStation 2.

Sony also confirmed it has entered an exclusive deal with Electronic Arts Inc. (NasdaqNM:ERTS - News; ERTS), the largest video-game developer, to make nine of its online-enabled sports games available exclusively for PlayStation 2 through 2004.

Meanwhile, the company plans to sell a hard-disk data storage unit for PlayStation 2 by year-end, but didn't specify the planned retail price for the device.

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