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Sony has said it before, and no doubt it will say it again. It wants Japanese PlayStation 2 users on a broadband network by next year.

So a new version of the console goes on sale next week in Japan, featuring support for a built-in hard disk and broadband adapter.

This means that anyone buying a PS2 from now on will be able to accept high density storage and a broadband adaptor... whenever Sony is ready.

This addition is smaller Sony would like to make out, as most of the PS2s shipped in Europe and North America feature the expansion slots already

Sony does not have much to offer in terms of detail on the new hard disk and broadband adaptor, apart from the (now fairly repetitive) claims that it will be several times the speed of current connections and that the hard disk will allow users to download data and programs, and allow for more interactive video games.

Of course, none of this is particular helpful to PlayStation 2 owners who end up with consoles that lacking broadband functionality.

Sony still aims to ship two million PlayStation 2s a month for the rest of the fiscal year. ®

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