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Sony rising ...On Sept. 13, Sony announced the pricing and support for PlayStation 2.

Sony rising ...

On Sept. 13, Sony announced the pricing and support for PlayStation 2. And with hardware specs far ahead of the competition's -- 10 times faster than Sega's Dreamcast and three times faster than Pentium III, claims Sony -- PlayStation 2 is the game console to beat.

But more important, Sony execs used the announcement to admit something they'd previously denied: The electronics maker is aiming the PlayStation 2 at becoming the new household entertainment center.

Sony stressed the device's ability to tie together living room components - such as a VCR, stereo and TV -- play DVD movies, and eventually surf the Web via a broadband modem. To top it all off, Sony has designed the next-generation device to look more like a stereo component than a game device.

"Sony was calling (the PlayStation 2) a "Trojan horse" entertainment appliance," said Forrester's Schwartz. "They've just dropped the Trojan horse part."

Other game console makers are joining in the game as well, but for the moment, Sony appears to have the lead. They're all racing to grab as large a piece of the living room pie as possible.


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