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Cisco Set To Revolutionize PC Gaming

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — Sixty Sony Playstation 2s in one room -- it is a console game player's dream. But these are test machines hooked to Cisco cable modems at the Cisco Research Triangle Park Technology Center. High-speed, trans-global gaming is on the way.

"You'll be able to have that same game-playing experience with anyone in the same city, the same state, the same country or across the world," said Greg Pelton of the center.

Sony will offer a network interface and hard drive about Christmas time. And the people at the center developed the software that will make the PlayStation 2 a real wonder box.

"We're proving communication infrastructure that all game developers can use and all applications can use to talk to the playstation," said Pelton.

Sony's PlayStation 2 is recognized as the ultimate gaming device, and this little box has as much computing power as the original Cray supercomputer.

The Cisco officials say their software and the capability of the PlayStation 2 will drive demand for broadband connectivity.

"But with games, and when you start looking at more video, you start looking at more voice. They're coming down to the PlayStation. It's real easy to see how I need more of that bandwidth and more of that data," said Cisco Manager of Software Development John Toebes.

Cisco has worked for a year to make the PlayStation net capable without affecting its startling game playing function.

"We don't want to make the games perform more poorly because they have this software. So it was quite a challenge. Now we hired some people with real experience in the gaming industry so we had the right talent," said Toebes.

The Sony network adapter will be available in November for $40. It will work with broadband or dial-up connections. A hard disk drive will soon be available allowing e-mail and instant messaging through an agreement with AOL-Time Warner.


Tom Lawrence, Reporter
Julian King, Web Editor

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