Andrew House

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Sony Computer Entertainment America shipped its latest PlayStation 2 March 23 with a 40-gigabyte hard drive, pre-loaded with "Final Fantasy XI." The game can be played online with other PS2 or PC users. The new PS2 console sells for a suggested retail price of $99.

"We've brought an astounding 10% of our installed base online," Sony executive VP Andrew House says. That represents some 2.6 million PS2 players, a 239% increase in the past year, he notes.

Individual game manufacturers set subscription fees for their online games. More than 60 PS2 games can be played online, and the number will likely reach 100 by year's end.