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Telewest signs PS2 online gaming network deal

Sony makes home gateway play

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UK cable operator Telewest has signed a deal with Sony that will see the company working on the creation of a high-speed network to allow PS2 owners across Europe to play online games on their consoles.

Telewest operates a large cable broadband network in the UK, and the new deal will see it forming a new subsidiary company - led by its former head of broadband David Docherty - to help Sony to develop a trans-European high speed network similar to the one being created by Microsoft for Xbox Live.

The partnership between the two companies is thought to have been helped by Telewest's previous experience not only in broadband rollout as a whole, but in online gaming specifically - with its blueyonder Games service being one of the most popular venues for online PC gaming in the UK.

The PS2 online services will launch in Europe later this year; but Telewest is already looking beyond that to the kind of services which could be provided over the new network in future, with David Docherty telling The Guardian that Sony's consoles will be the "gateway" for accessing content including movies and music in future.

"By the time you get to PlayStation 3, it becomes a platform and a brand identity and opens up a host of possibilities for music and video downloads," enthused Docherty. PlayStation 3 is not expected to be launched until 2006, however - and whether Sony can prove themselves in the online arena in the intervening four years remains to be seen.

© gamesindustry.biz

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