Telewest and Sony Ink Agreement



LONDON — Telewest Communications PLC and Sony Corp.’s Sony Computer Entertainment Europe announced an agreement to combine Telewest’s broadband network with Sony’s Playstation 2 games console.

The deal, unveiled Thursday, will create Europe’s first broadband connection with a computer entertainment system, and is the latest step taken by Sony to convert the PlayStation 2 into a hub for home entertainment that can tap into speedy Internet connections to homes.

Telewest (TWSTY) and Sony (SNE) said they will start technical trials by the end of the year.

The collaboration will potentially offer services such as online gaming, videogame downloads and editorial content, according to Sony.

Sony announced Wednesday it will include RealNetworks Inc.’s (RNWK) RealPlayer 8 software, one of the leading programs for downloading audio and video from the Internet, with programming tools used by all PlayStation 2 software developers.

The companies say the arrangement could lead to a range of new uses for the PlayStation 2; Hollywood studios, for example, might transmit film previews to consumers.

This week, Sony said it would work with AOL Time Warner Inc. (AOL) to incorporate instant messaging, e-mail and other AOL communications features into the PlayStation 2.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is targeting the videogame market with its forthcoming Xbox, a new device that will include a hard drive for storing data and high-speed Internet capabilities.

Copyright (c) 2001 Dow Jones&Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The companies say the arrangement could lead to a range of new uses
for the PlayStation 2; Hollywood studios, for example, might transmit
film previews to consumers.

This week, Sony said it would work with AOL Time Warner Inc. (AOL) to
incorporate instant messaging, e-mail and other AOL communications
features into the PlayStation 2.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is targeting the videogame market with its
forthcoming Xbox, a new device that will include a hard drive for
storing data and high-speed Internet capabilities.

Copyright (c) 2001 Dow Jones&Company, Inc.

All Rights Reserved.