Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. said Tuesday it will release a smaller PlayStation 2 model in November at home and overseas.
The game unit of consumer electronics giant Sony Corp. said it expects the new model to give a fresh boost to sales of the popular game console, which has sold more than 70 million units worldwide since its launch in March 2000.
The new model is half the weight of the current model and a quarter of its size. It will go on sale in Japan on Nov. 3, priced at retailers’ discretion.
It will debut Nov. 1 in North America for $149 and in Europe for 149 euros.
Chief Executive Ken Kutaragi told a news conference the new model has fewer components, an important factor in cost-cutting.
The company also said Tuesday it will adopt the Blu-ray Disc format as the medium for its next generation PlayStation, which is scheduled to appear in an annual game trade show next spring.
Blu-ray is one of two formats vying to be the next-generation DVD standard. It is being promoted by Sony, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and other parties. Its rival, HD DVD, is being pushed by Toshiba Corp. and NEC Corp.
Kutaragi said the storage capacity needs of video games have been growing rapidly, and Blu-ray can hold more data than HD DVD.
PlayStation 2, with its DVD playback capability, is credited with bolstering popular use of DVD software.
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