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PlayStation 3 to be Sony's convergence box, not PS2

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Sony's PlayStation 2 may not be the digital doorway between the home and a world of online entertainment the company originally planned it to be.

No, that role will now be taken by the console's successor, imaginatively known as the PlayStation 3.

When the PlayStation 2 was announced back in 1999, Sony predicted a world of console users connected to the Net across broadband links in order to watch movies and listen to music. That vision was expected to become reality mid-2001.

Well, we're nearly there, and while Sony has realigned its Music, Pictures and Computer Entertainment subsidiaries under an umbrella organisation called Sony Broadband Entertainment, and forged links with broadband network providers, the world of high-speed links, everywhere still seems some way off.

Sony has clearly taken this on board, and is now discussing all this post-games functionality in terms of the PlayStation 2's successor. Or so Sony Computer Entertainment boss Ken Kutaragi recently told Scientific American.

Quoted in a recent feature on digital entertainment, Kutaragi re-iterates the old PlayStation 2 vision, but links it to PlayStation 3. When that console ships, we can expect it to hook up to email, online shopping and all the other broadband services Sony originally expected the PS2 would connect us to.

Kutaragi doesn't say when PlayStation 3 will arrive, but back at the Autumn 1999 Microprocessor Forum, while discussing the PlayStation 2's Emotion Engine CPU, he did note that Emotion Engine 2 was scheduled to ship sometime in 2002 and would be hosted by the PlayStation 2's successor. ®

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