New PS2 packages for Japan

Sony is releasing a pair of limited-edition consoles and broadband bundles across the Pacific.

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TOKYO--With the start of the Japanese school and work year just a few weeks away, Sony Computer Entertainment is aiming to extend its sales to new users with a group of new consoles and broadband offers.

This spring, the company will rerelease two limited-edition color models of its PlayStation 2 console. The first is the Sakura, a lavender PS2 console themed after the celebrated cherry blossoms currently in bloom. Sony originally introduced the Sakura model last spring but is reissuing it due to its popularity with female gamers. The Sakura PS2 console will be released on March 25 at a retail price of 19,800 yen ($178.12)--the same price as the regular PS2 model--and will come with one matching controller. Additional controllers in the Sakura color can be purchased for 2,800 yen ($25.19), as can a vertical stand for 1,500 yen ($13.49).

The second PS2 model is Ceramic White, which was was originally released last December. At the time, the console was only available as a holiday package that came bundled with a copy of Gran Tourismo 4 Prologue at the price of 22,000 yen ($197.91). The console will be available without the game this time, at a retail price of 19,800 yen ($178.12). As with the Sakura, an additional controller for the Ceramic White will be available for 2,800 yen ($25.19), and a vertical stand will be on sale for 1,500 yen ($13.49). The Ceramic White color model will be released on March 18.

Despite having released a number of PS2 color models in the past, Sony decided on another production run of these two particular models because they sold out exceedingly fast when initially offered. The company has also received numerous customer requests to make them available again.

Aside from the two PS2 color models, Sony will also be releasing two broadband adapter packages. The adapters will come bundled with a game and the PS2 HDD hard drive, allowing customers to play online as soon as they bring it home. One package will include the game Net De Bomberman and will retail for 13,800 yen ($124.15). The other package will include the game Minna no Golf Online and will retail for 14,800 yen ($133.14). Both deals are 2,800 yen ($25.19) cheaper than buying the broadband adapter and the game separately. The broadband adapters that come in the packages are internal models that can be inserted into the hard drive bay of the more recent PlayStation 2 consoles, model number SCPH-30000 and higher.

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