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Sony Exec: No Internet for PlayStation

Sony brass confirms suspicions that Sony has ruled out any sort of Internet add-on for the PlayStation.


Speaking at the Ziff-Davis Electronic Gaming Summit, an exclusive three-day event attended by the leaders of the interactive entertainment industry, Sony executive Phil Harrison confirmed suspicions that Sony has ruled out any sort of Internet add-on for the PlayStation.

According to Harrison, the problems aren't technical - indeed, Sony already has a working PlayStation modem add-on which it developed for an educational initiative known as the LightSpan Partnership - but financial. Harrison stated that after nine months of studying the issue Sony concluded that there simply isn't any way to make an Internet add-on feasible from a monetary perspective, and thus has nixed the idea of releasing a modem targeted at the consumer PlayStation market.

Harrison also made some very interesting remarks regarding Sony's vision of future trends in gaming, specifically with regard to hardware platforms. He said that the current model of games based primarily on "off-line" data, such as pre-rendered graphics stored on CD-ROM, might not be the wave of the future. Instead, Harrison posited the possibility of graphic synthesis and real-time media creation by the game system itself, or, as he put it, "inside the box."

What exactly does "inside the box" mean? Citing competitive issues, Harrison wouldn't elaborate, but it seems he is suggesting that future game systems might have enormous data libraries built right into the hardware, which could then be accessed, combined or manipulated via user or program instruction.

Theoretically, this might allow for a much higher degree of customization and personalization in games - for example, players might be able to develop and store a favorite character, and then use that character in multiple game environments. It's also conceivable that the hardware might recognize gameplay tendencies, and then adjust the game environment in real time to match the player's skill level and/or style of play.

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