Electronic Entertainment Expo 2001
Kaz Hirai, president and COO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America (SCEA), may have it right when he asks "the only question is: Who's going to be number two at the end of the year?" Hirai emphasized SCEA's head start in the next-generation race by reiterating that the installed PS2 base is more than 10 million units worldwide and more than three million units in the US. By the end of the year, the company plans to have seven million PS2 consoles installed in N. America and 280 software titles available. There are about 300 content developers working on PS2 software.
SCEA's big hardware announcements were a 40 GB hard drive and a separate network adapter for the vacant bay on the back of the PS2. The network adapter will provide broadband and 56k ports for $39, but the hard drive's price was not announced. These accessories would put the $299 PS2 more on par with the $299 Xbox, but at an additional cost. One advantage the PS2 has over the Xbox is that it plays DVD movies out of the box, whereas the Xbox requires an optional $30 remote control to play DVDs.