By Shawn Rider
Well, Sony has committed. The PlayStation 2 will be available on October 26, 2000, and it will cost $299. I will take a moment to thumb my nose at anybody who predicted a price higher or lower ¢ it only makes sense that Sony would release their second system at the same original price as the first. Sony also intimated in their press conference that the PS2 will follow a similar price evolution as its predecessor, which means the price will eventually drop.
The system will be slightly altered from its Japanese cousin. The DVD software included on the memory card in the Japanese version will be permanently installed in the hardware of the US version. Also, the US version will have a bay at the rear to allow for an upgrade of a hard disk drive and a broadband modem. Sony remains steadfast in their commitment to broadband, and is poised to assume an active role in the conversion of Internet connections everywhere. Indeed, Sony sees itself as the Che Guaverra of the Broadband Revolution.
Other than that, the system will be virtually identical to the Japanese version. It will still play DVDs and PSX titles, and the DVD functions are very near those of a dedicated DVD player. The titles Sony demonstrated at E3, mostly The Matrix and The Wild Wild West, played very nicely. The PS2 titles Sony showed were more than impressive, and there will undoubtedly be more games available for the system at launch than at any other console launch in history. Developers have welcomed the PS2 with open arms, and it looks like all of us gamers will reap the benefits of that welcome. No, the hardest thing to decide come next October 26 will not be whether to buy the system, but which games to get with it.
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