Japanese ISPs Nifty (Fujitsu) and Biglobe (NEC) along with two NTT subsidiaries have been signed up by Sony to cooperate in the April launch of its online gaming service. In an press conference today, Sony Computer Entertainment President Ken Kutaragi told reporters and developers that Sony's service will cover 70% of Japanese broadband Internet users. As of January there were some 1.78 million ADSL subscribers in Japan, 1.24 million of which will have access to PS2 online services. Pricing may vary, but NTT has said that it will charge a monthly fee of 1,500 yen (£7.90 / €12.90) for the basic gaming / Internet package. Users will also either have to pay a one-time fee of 18,000 yen (£94.50 / €155) or monthly instalments of 1,160 yen (£6 / €9.99) for 18 months in exchange for broadband tools that allow them to download games to the PS2. Whether that's a reference to the broadband adapter / hard disk pricing is difficult to say, as all previous information has suggested these will be bundled together. Amongst the benefits of signing up to Sony's online service are online games and digital TV and audio content, as well as full-blown Internet access. Related Feature - Square to confirm FFXI
Source - Reuters
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