The games market is an essential part of the broadband segment. Microsoft and Sony recognise this, as Microsoft’s 2002 video gaming console, Xbox, is broadband enabled, and Sony’s PlayStation2 is expected to include an Ethernet and broadband adaptor in 2002. Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) Australia reported in December 2001 that disc-less gaming remains three to five years away, but downloadable demonstration games, extra levels and multi-player gaming would become available over broadband Internet connections. SCE was in discussions with Australian carriers and ISPs and planned to make an announcement around mid-2002. The company also indicated that Internet connectivity would facilitate tracking software pirates using their proprietary Dynamic Network Authentication System that employs unique IDs on consoles and discs to catch copiers.
In 2000, close to a third of all households in Australia had a dedicated games computer installed (23% penetration in 1998). Over 60% of all household PCs installed are used at some time for computer games. By 2001, 10% of all households had a DVD player installed, this market segment is expected to grow the fastest and at that time, games were the ‘killer’ application on this machine.
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