Feeds

Sony welcomes PlayStation 2 clones

Today X-Box - tomorrow ze vorld

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Sony is planning to license its PlayStation 2 technology to third parties, if comments made by Ken Kutaragi, head of the company's video games division, are anything to go by.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Kutaragi said: "The PlayStation 2 should be opened to the outside world. We hope that all of our partners will start thinking about using our technology."

It's not hard to see what might have inspired the move: Sony's goal is to dominate the Net-connected home, and to a large extent that means beating Microsoft. The Beast of Redmond knows this, which is why it launched X-Box as a shot across Sony's bows. Sony's response is clearly to take a leaf from Palm's book and try to widen the PlayStation 2 platform's scope.

As a PalmOS licensee itself, Sony can see clearly how it works. Instead of owning all of a small market, you license the technology to give you just a share of a much bigger market. 'PlayStation Ecomony' anyone?

It's a canny plan that - if successful - generates not only revenue but critical mass, and could establish the PlayStation 2 as the de facto standard for Net appliances.

To be honest, that's probably what it was always going to be, but both X-Box and Sony's apparent focus on the gaming aspect of the console - allowing Sega time to push Dreamcast as much as a Net access tool as a games machine - have obscured the issue. Sony's licensing plan could bring the console back into the information appliance fold, particularly if, like Palm, it seeks licensing partners more interested in taking the technology into new markets than taking on existing ones.

Sony's timescale for licensing isn't clear, but it's unlikely to bear fruit until the company ramps up production of the PlayStation 2's Emotion Engine processor, a move it announced yesterday along with a Y125 billion investment plan. The fact that Sony has discussed the programme now suggests that it has already begun talking to possible partners and may even have signed licence contracts. Certainly Sony has been approached by third parties with regard to licensing PlayStation 2 - Kutaragi admitted as much himself.

Sony's broader PlayStation 2 programme calls for the March 2001 - or thereabouts - availability of broadband Net connections and Internet-based media services to take advantage of them. Given the timing of the licensing announcement, that's probably also the proposed timeframe for the first clones, particularly if they're focused more on home Net access than gaming. ®

Related Story

Sony aims to quadruple PS2 output

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.