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E3 2003: EA Sports online to be PS2 exclusive

But is business or dissent responsible?

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Although EA president John Ricietello lent his videoed face and star player Will Wright to Nintendo for their press conference, Sony fans got the whole man this morning, and with him he brought news that this year's nine EA Sports titles would work exclusively with PS2 online. Each title will even include online voice chat (dubbed EA Sports Talk).

The nine EA Sports titles will be FIFA Football 2004, NBA Live 2004, NHL 2004, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 (apparently, although contests this), Madden NFL 2004, NASCAR Thunder 2004, NCAA 2004, NCAA March Madness 2004 and another, unnamed title.

This is obviously a big gain for Sony, and a sensible move for EA, but the last thing we heard was that EA were anxious to work out a lucrative subscription model for their online console games - something Microsoft could conceivably have objected to, had it implied a lack of ongoing support for older titles. PS2 exclusive or rejected by Xbox? Perhaps that's the question.

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