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EU rejects Sony PS2-is-PC claim

No you can't have your money back

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Shock of the week - your games console is, in fact, a games console.

The European Union has officially branded the PS2 as a games console rather than a computer, in a move which foils Sony's plans to claim back millions of euros of customs duty by having it reclassified as a PC.

Sony has been fighting to have the system recognised as a computer rather than a games machine since its launch in Europe, arguing that it is every bit as sophisticated as any PC and pointing out that PS2s ship with a simple programming language - and can be equipped with a Linux toolkit.

However, a European court in Luxembourg ruled that "it is quite clear that it is intended mainly to be used to run video games" - which is actually an interesting ruling, because it raises questions about the customs duty status of PCs which are advertised as gaming machines, such as Alienware's popular range of gaming PCs.

Sony will be disappointed with the ruling mostly because it will prevent it from claiming back millions of euros of customs duty which it has already paid on PS2 shipments. The ruling is irrelevant to most future shipments anyway; from January 1st next year, both computers and videogames consoles will be zero-rated for tariffs when entering the European Union.

There's been significant confusion over the reporting of the results of the case; it appears that a European Court official originally misreported the court's ruling, causing several media outlets - and Sony itself - to report that the console giant had actually won its legal battle. As we understand it, this is not the case, and the facts stand as we report them here; should we hear otherwise, we'll update this story with any additional information.

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