In 2001 during and after E3, Sony announced a flurry of partnerships, capabilities/apps and peripherals for PlayStation 2, most notably with America Online, Real Networks, Macromedia and Sun Microsystems Java.
Among the many things the PS2 would be capable of, and have, were:
*AIM instant messanger
*streaming RealMedia / RealPlayer
Yes, a few of thse did happen, such as the HDD for FFXI, but most of them never made it.
The PS2 Online Revolution Begins
Will you be hearing the infamous "you've got mail?" voice on your PS2? It may be a reality soon.
by IGN Staff
May 14, 2001 - Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and America Online today announced a strategic alliance that will allow the companies to work together to bring the AOL experience to consumers on the PlayStation 2. It will give PlayStation 2 users the ability to use features like instant messaging, chat and email on their computer entertainment system.
SCEI will release a network adapter for the PlayStation 2 that will allow them to connect to the Internet through AOL, as well as play Internet-enabled software, and the two companies will work on a specialized Netscape browser optimized for Sony's hardware.
Other hardware devices that will be released include a hard disk drive, LCD display (NTSC/PAL and XGA compatible), keyboard, and mouse. These each will help users take full advantage of the Internet support and AOL's features. Likewise, the AOL features will be incorporated into future versions of the PS2 Software Development Kits (SDKs) that are available to software programmers, so that these features can be used in games.
"Given our shared corporate vision and power for the evolution of online computer entertainment, AOL and SCEI make ideal partners," said Ken Kutaragi, president and CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. "With AOL by our side, Sony Computer Entertainment will begin to provide the world's content creators access to a new community for digital entertainment and distribution. Just as PlayStation 2 ushered in a new era of computer entertainment, we are now escalating the evolution of great gaming experiences into what will become a highly interactive, real-time broadband network environment."
"Sony Computer Entertainment and AOL are both committed to delivering the most compelling interactive content and applications possible for consumers," said Barry Schuler, Chairman and CEO of America Online, Inc. "By combining AOL's industry-leading infrastructure and trademark convenience with the media-rich power of PlayStation 2 to turbo-charge the gaming experience, we'll be able to provide our members with another exciting way to connect by extending our AOL Anywhere strategy to a powerful new interactive platform."
E3 2001: SCEI Gets Real (Player)
Among the many benefits of PS2's online strategy, the provision of streaming media by Real.
by IGN Staff
May 16, 2001 - SCEI and RealNetworks, the major online media provider, have announced an alliance to embed the RealPlayer 8 media player and other RealNetworks technologies in PlayStation 2 and the PlayStation 2 software development kit. When PS2 goes online later this year, users will be able to download media in Real format from RealNetworks' sites and other websites that feature streaming video and audio, and game developers will be able to integrate similar types of media into their work.
"Our goal is to revolutionize the home entertainment market and even communication itself with PlayStation and PlayStation 2, the most prevailing entertainment platforms in the world," said Ken Kutaragi, CEO of SCEI. "Streaming media integration will vastly enrich the computer entertainment world PlayStation has built up to date. While envisioning the direct download of digital content from the network in the coming broadband era, we will obtain digital streaming and downloadable media using current networks, by integrating into PlayStation 2 the world's most popular Internet media delivery client, RealPlayer. As the world of gaming and the Internet merge, so too will entertainment and communication."
"Through this exciting collaboration with Sony Computer Entertainment, we will provide consumers the ability to enjoy their favorite Internet media through the most popular digital home entertainment platform in history," said Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO of RealNetworks, Inc. "One of RealNetworks' core objectives is to enable consumers to experience their favorite Internet media wherever and whenever they want, and our universal media delivery system allows us to provide this experience on any device and on any platform."
SCEI and RealNetworks will also share technology resources for copy management, making it easier to control the downloading and distribution of copyrighted media.
RealNetworks finds home in PlayStation 2
Published: May 15, 2001, 9:00 PM PDT
By Richard Shim
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
update Sony and RealNetworks will announce Wednesday that they will be teaming to bring streaming audio and video to Sony's PlayStation 2 gaming system.
At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) gaming conference in Los Angeles, the two companies will announce a nonexclusive partnership.
"This is a nonexclusive partnership with Sony to get RealNetworks technology built into PlayStation 2," said RealNetworks spokesman Joe Cerrell. "This is a huge win that shows we're delivering on our commitment to get RealNetworks technology off of the PC and onto other platforms."
For Sony the alliance is a pre-emptive strike against Microsoft and its upcoming Xbox gaming system. For RealNetworks the agreement is another part of its beyond-the-PC strategy, in which the company is trying to embed its software in devices other than PCs.
Sony will include RealNetworks' RealPlayer and RealJukebox software on hard drives that can be added to PlayStation 2 consoles. The drives are available in Japan and are expected to hit the United States this year.
To aid developers in the creation of applications using RealNetworks' software, Sony will include RealNetworks' software developer tools with its own software development kit.
According to Jai Jaisimha, a director of consumer appliances at RealNetworks, consumers will be able to view video on demand, download music to be played off the PlayStation 2, and use the console as an Internet radio.
RealNetworks' software will be added to the drives in the fall, and applications will be available in the months that follow, according to Jaisimha.
"The PlayStation 2 is already out there in broad use," said Jaisimha, "and this will only help to fuel our beyond-the-PC strategy."
The PlayStation 2's lead rival, Microsoft's Xbox, has not even hit store shelves, but news of its official ship date and pricing are expected this week at E3. Analysts expect the pricing to be in the $300 range to remain competitive with the PlayStation 2.
With the muscle of software behemoth Microsoft behind it, as well as a $500 million marketing budget, the Xbox is expected to make a big splash.
RealNetworks also counts Microsoft as a competitor in the media player arena on the PC.
Both Sony and Microsoft view their gaming systems as entertainment hubs of the future home enabling more than just games, also allowing owners to surf the Web, play online games, and gather news and information.
On Tuesday, AOL Time Warner and Sony announced they will work together to combine AOL Internet features such as instant messaging, chat and e-mail with the PlayStation 2. Sony will provide the network adapter for PlayStation 2 that will let consumers access AOL Internet features and play Net-enabled games.
Gartner analyst Robert Batchelder says that given Microsoft's ambitions to be both a media and a game company, it's clear why Sony would choose RealNetworks to bring streaming audio and video to its PlayStation 2.
E3 2001: PlayStation 2 to get Macromedia Flash
Sony teams up with Macromedia to bring the Macromedia Flash Player to the PlayStation 2.
by IGN Staff
May 16, 2001 - Sony Computer Entertainment America and Macromedia today announced their partnership to bring the Macromedia Flash Player to PlayStation 2. The Macromedia Flash Player is the current standard for bringing high-impact Web experiences to the user and given Sony's just announced dedication to the broadband era, the PlayStation 2 is a perfect fit for it.
Sony will preview the Macromedia Flash Player on PlayStation 2 at this week's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California. The preview will center on how the player can provide rich and interactive Web experiences to PlayStation 2 users.
"The Macromedia Flash Player is already installed in more than 96 percent of Web desktops and we are excited by the opportunity of extending this momentum to the Sony PlayStation 2," said Kevin Lynch, president of Macromedia products. "Bringing Macromedia Flash to as many Web-enabled devices as possible will ensure that developers can create high-impact, engaging content with an amazingly wide reach."
"PlayStation 2 is positioned to become the focal point of the consumer's living room Internet and entertainment experiences," said Ken Kutaragi, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. "The Macromedia Flash Player is essential for delivering the interactive Web experience that consumers have come to expect. With support for Macromedia Flash Player, SCEI immediately gains more than 700,000 Macromedia Flash developers able to deliver Web content to PlayStation 2."
E3 2001: Sony's Conference Encompasses All
SCEA begins online games for 2001, delivers hard drive plans, and debuts killer apps for 2001-'02.
by IGN Staff
May 16, 2001 - Sony Computer Entertainment America announced its overall strategy for the upcoming two years, replete with a comprehensive set of plans to push forward its online games (of which six were announced) starting by years end 2001, its growing partnerships with online companies (Macromedia, AOL/Netscape, Cisco, and Real Player), and its growing corral of first- and third-party games, which will total 200 by end of January 31, 2001.
SCEA announced the first details of its 40 GB HDD (Hard Disc Drive), LCD high-end screen, and Network Adapter, plus plans to deliver a keyboard and mouse for communication capabilities to ship this fall.
Online Plans (Adapter, HDD, keyboard and mouse, and LCD screen)
Sony's online plans have finally materialized.
The multi-part strategy involves email, instant messaging, and chat using a specialized version of Netscape Navigator, streaming media via RealPlayer technology, and Flash technology via Macromedia Flash Player. SCEA has also partnered with Cisco to create complex network traffic solutions for multiplayer online games, and to create a protocol stack for fast, unburdened online play.
Sony also announced partial details for its HDD (Hard Disc Drive), an LCD screen, and Network Adapter. The network components feature several items which are all sold separately from the PS2. The HDD is a 40 Gigabyte storage space component due to ship in November 2001, and was announced with no price. SCEA says the price will be announced shortly.
The PS2 Network Adaptor is a rectangular black component that fits on the back of the HDD and enables hybrid 56k analog modem capabilities, plus Ethernet capabilities for broadband usage. The Network Adaptor will sell for a MSRP of $39.
The LCP Display, which is NTSC, Pal, and XGA compatible, and the keyboard and mouse setup will be available in winter 2001, and have not been priced yet. The distribution model is also to be announced.
SCEA Integrates Java Into PS2
In further preparation for its online debut this fall, SCEA brings Java technologies to PS2.
by IGN Staff
June 4, 2001 - Sony Computer Entertainment America today keeps setting up Internet ducks and shooting them down, this time with Sun Microsystems' Java technologies. The Foster City, Ca.-based company announced today that when you hook up the PS2 this fall, it will enable players to use Java capabilities online.
Essentially, players will be able to see on their PS2s what they see now on their Internet browsers, moving pictures and different kinds of Net-based code. Many kinds of applications with Java script can be downloaded and viewed in a secure fashion by year's end, SCEA said today. Players can connect and communicate with Java-enabled clients, such as wireless handsets, PDAs, interactive TVs, and other network devices. People can ever use Java-based apps such as games on their mobile phones.
"SCEI aims to create a new world of entertainment by merging games with communication," said Shinichi Okamoto, senior vice president and CTO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. "It is a clear solution that PlayStation 2 supports Java. By collaborating with Sun, we hope to accelerate bringing in the open and secure network communication into the future."
"SCEI's plan to integrate Java technology into PlayStation 2 represents a significant milestone in the adoption and availability of Java technology for the global home entertainment market," said Patricia C. Sueltz, executive vice president, Software Systems Group of Sun Microsystems Inc. "The combination of Java technologies and PlayStation 2 forms a powerful platform which will allow consumers to easily and safely access a wide array of network applications and services in their homes."
You've Got Mail... and AOL on PS2, but not on TV... yet
First up was Real Networks demonstrating its broadband streaming technology. Sure the demonstration was at the unrealistic speed of a local network, but the demo guy assured us that it would look "almost as good" over a cable modem.
Next up for the Sony PlayStation2 was... wait for it... Linux. Weird, huh? But there it was running the latest version of Netscape Navigator for Linux on a VGA monitor. No it won't work well on your TV because the browser isn't designed to display on TV.
Even more of a shock was seeing America Online on the PS2. We were expecting the battle cry "You've Got Linux!" as it booted up with the favorite non-Microsoft operating system that nine out of ten geeks ask for by name. This dynamic duo were not, however, being displayed on a television, and it closely resembled the PC version of AOL being displayed on a VGA monitor connected to the PS2.
What Sony DIDN'T show was a web browser for television. When asked if AOL intended to bring AOLTV to the PlayStation console, the demo guy just smiled and said simply that it was being discussed.
A third demo stand at the PS2 broadband booth showed a hi-definition 1080i movie that had been recorded onto the hard drive of the PS2.
E3 2001: The PlayStation 2 goes online
Sony Computer Entertainment made several key announcements this morning regarding its online plans for the PlayStation 2.
Sony Computer Entertainment unleashed a bevy of stories relating to its online strategy early Wednesday morning, preceding the first official day of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles. These announcements are hot on the heels of Sony publicizing a partnership with AOL yesterday. Sony will hold its press conference later today, but headlining these early stories is the announcement that a network adapter for the PlayStation 2 has been developed and will ship in North America in November 2001.
The adapter will let PlayStation 2 owners move into the online console terrain with the V90 analog modem combined with high-speed Ethernet connection for high-speed, broadband readiness. The adapter will ship with a hard disk drive as well. Through previously announced agreements with AOL, Sony will provide AOL channels through the PlayStation 2, letting users access various features such as instant messaging. The Netscape browser will be available for PlayStation 2 as well. The adapter will retail for $39.95 in November.
In related news, Sony announced an alliance with RealNetworks to imbed RealPlayer 8 and other RealNetworks technologies into the PlayStation 2 to allow the system to display streaming audio and video content.
Keeping to the online topic, Sony also revealed that Cisco Systems has created new Internet Protocol (IP) software to allow PlayStation 2 users access to the Internet and let game developers create broadband-enabled content for games. The company will initially provide Sony with IPv4 to be incorporated into the PlayStation 2. Later, Sony will work with Cisco to develop an IPv4/IPv6 dual protocol stack. "IPv6 is definitely the base for the broadband era," said Ken Kutaragi, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment. "And the PlayStation 2 will be one of the first home entertainment platforms in the world to incorporate an IPv4/IPv6 dual protocol stack. We will incorporate IPv4 protocol stack and IPv4/IPv6 dual stack as provided by Cisco to the PlayStation 2 Software Development Kit. By having the dual protocol stack, it will be much easier for the developers to create content for the broadband network and will further accelerate the arrival of the broadband era."
Lastly, Sony Computer Entertainment announced a partnership with Macromedia to bring the Macromedia Flash Player to the PlayStation 2. Sony will be previewing the Macromedia Flash Player's enhanced Web presentations on the PlayStation 2 later this week during the E3 convention.
PlayStation 2 gains Net access
Sony and AOL team up to bring the Internet to the popular game console.
Internet giant America Online and Sony Computer Entertainment on Tuesday teamed up to bring the Internet to Sony's popular PlayStation 2 game console.
Under the agreement, AOL and Sony will work together to combine AOL Internet features such as instant messaging, chat, and e-mail with the PlayStation 2. Sony will provide a network adapter for PlayStation 2 that will let consumers access AOL Internet features and play Net-enabled games.
The two companies also will work together on interactive game projects including incorporating high-speed technologies and the development of a Netscape browser in the PlayStation 2 console. Additional hardware including a hard-disk drive, liquid-crystal display (LCD), keyboard, and mouse will be offered to help customers access the new features. The new products are slated for release by the end of the year.
AOL is delivering on a promise made about a year ago in its plans to move aggressively toward gaming consoles and wireless devices. AOL and rival Microsoft have both been eyeing interactive gaming and working to position themselves as the dominant brand.
AOL has an existing relationship with video game producer Electronic Arts' EA.com, which has become the preferred online gaming provider on its Web sites.
Microsoft is also busy this week, turning up the buzz for its upcoming Xbox game console. The software maker is set to announce the Xbox's price and sale date--the last two major pieces of information to emerge about the device. Analysts expect Microsoft to match Sony's $300 price tag for the PlayStation 2.
Tuesday's agreement marks another battlefront between Microsoft and AOL. Both companies have been trying to gain a foothold in consumers' living rooms, anticipating a melding between high-tech and home-entertainment products.
Whether or not gamers are looking for online bells and whistles in their consoles remains to be seen.
"It's what happens on the ground with the individual people that makes the difference," said Josh Bernoff, principal analyst at Forrester Research. "The little elements of the consumer experience (are) what's going to make the difference, rather than the vast bullshit non-existant never-going-to-happen alliance between AOL and Sony."
I guess we could say all of it eventually DID happen, with original fat PS3 and Linux.