Sony and Online giant American Online enter initial talks about possible PS2/online partnership.
December 12, 2000
U.S. Internet company America Online has entered into top-level discussions with Sony Computer Entertainment and Toyota to gain an online edge in the videogame and automobile market, the Wall Street Journal reported today.
While the talks are on the preliminary stages right now, AOL wants to partner to gain a larger share of the world\'s Internet market both at home and abroad, specifically in Japan, where Toyato\'s online site Gazoo.com has performed so well. The talks included topics such as the development of joint electronic commerce services, and joint marketing campaigns.
What\'s most interesting, or perhaps frightening, is that AOL sought out Sony Computer Entertainment, the PlayStation branch of Sony, with the aim of hooking up PlayStation 2 gamers with AOL\'s Internet service.
"The company has a variety of talks with many companies to provide broadband contents through PlayStation 2," a spokesman at Sony Computer Entertainment told Reuters.
Sony and AOL are theorizing the many ways in which AOL software could be bundled with PlayStation 2, which plays games, DVD movies, and will eventually connect to the Internet. Initial ideas include selling PlayStation 2 preinstalled with AOL software or shipping AOL software on a CD-ROM with each console.
The Journal suggested that one of the major stumbling blocks to such a deal is that Sony has major plans to expand online, which may cause head-on competition with AOL. Currently, Sony already owns one of Japan\'s largest Internet service providers, which competes with AOL Japan.