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Sony to launch e-commerce biz to serve PlayStation 2 users

PlayStation.com to form basis of next year's full digital media delivery service

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Sony is to set up a new subsidiary to sell content, software and hardware to PlayStation 2 owners via the Web. The company, PlayStation.com, will be formed at the start of February -- one month ahead of the Japanese launch of the console-cum-information appliance. Not surprisingly, PlayStation.com will sell consoles, hardware add-ons such as memory packs and extra controllers, and games. However, Sony is clearly looking beyond gamers, since the online store will also take on the likes of Amazon.com to offer music CDs and DVDs. Ultimately, Sony plans to offer all these items as downloads or realtime streams though the timing isn't yet right, the company believes. It's so-called 'e-distribution' service for PlayStation 2 owners is set to go live mid-2001. In fact, PlayStation 2 is more about providing homes with the front end to network-based digital media services than simply being the successor to the world's leading games console. Sony wants to become the supplier -- a "Web department store", as Sony's president put it -- of digital content and the equipment consumers use to access it. PlayStation.com will be capitalised at Y480 million ($4.5 million). ® Related Stories Sony ties in with Sun to drive CE kit Sony preps satellite digital content delivery service PlayStation 3 to ship 2002 Sony puts PlayStation 2 at heart of Net strategy Sony confirms Linux to be PSX2 development platform

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