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(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Next-Generation Sony PlayStation Slated for Winter 1999
  • March 4, 1999 (TOKYO) -- Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. announced March 2 that its next-generation PlayStation game machine will go on sale in the winter of 1999 in Japan, and in the autumn of 2000 in the European and U.S. markets.
    In addition to its graphics capability, the next-generation PlayStation model also will be compatible with CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs, IEEE1394, USB and PC cards, the company said.

    The machine's modem will likely be provided in the form of either a peripheral device or as a software modem. The new PlayStation will be made compatible with all the CD-ROM software titles designed for the current machine.

    Details on pricing, the game machine's appearance and name, and its software compatibility were not announced.

    The machine features a new 128-bit CPU called the "Emotion Engine," a high-speed graphics processor called the "Graphics Synthesizer," an I/O processor, a DVD/CD-ROM drive and a digital interface.

    No details were given on software titles for the machine. However, a demonstration video of CG clips developed by companies like Namco Ltd. and Square Co., Ltd. was shown at the announcement event. Thus, it appears that a number of companies are already preparing new games.

    Also, it is likely that the environment surrounding the development of new titles will be improved. Software licenses are now being made available to companies that produce development tools and middleware as well as to those firms that make the actual end-product game titles. In the case of the current PlayStation model, only the latter could obtain licenses.

    (BizTech News Dept.)

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    Updated: Wed Mar 3 13:29:16 1999 PDT