Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has today announced that consumer trials for the PS2 network gaming service in the UK will commence on March 31. UK gamers with both a PS2 console and a broadband connection are being invited to apply for the trial by visiting uk.playstation.com and completing an online questionnaire.
Gamers who are chosen to participate in the trial will be able purchase a network gaming starter kit costing £39.99 and consisting of a PS2 Network Adaptor, a SOCOM USB headset, and a special online-only version of SOCOM: U.S. Navy Seals --the first network game for the PS2 to allow voice communication between players. Upon completion of the trial, participants will receive a complimentary copy of SOCOM.
"This trial will enable PlayStation 2 owners with broadband connection to purchase a Network Adaptor and immediately start enjoying multiplayer network gaming with the market leading PlayStation 2," said Ray Maguire, managing director of SCE UK. "Starting with the groundbreaking experience of 16-player SOCOM with voice communication, PlayStation network gaming will be exciting to play and affordable. The consumer trials will help determine the shape and nature of the commercial offering of this service. But rest assured, our ethos remains one of having a very diverse and inclusive platform that will enable content companies, games publishers, and ISPs to provide consumers with the broadest selection of new network experiences and entertainment from a variety of sources."
PlayStation 2 network gaming is already proving popular in North America and Japan following its release in those territories last year, but a European release has still not been confirmed at this time. We'll bring you more news on the European launch of the PS2 network gaming as it becomes available.