PS2 HDD Announced

PS2 HDD Announced

According to Sony Computer Entertainment of America a 40Gb PS2 hard disk drive is on its way to the U.S. and will be available in March 2004. Expected to set you back around USD 99 it will come ready with Final Fantasy XI pre-installed.

The device which has been a long time coming, will become an extention of the Network Adapter hardware, working together in order to offer PS2 users extra features and content. The drive will also offer the Sony's console the chance to catch-up to some of Microsoft's XBox features, such as faster loading times, custom game soundtracks and extra game content.

What better way for Sony to push the new accessory than to put its biggest titles behind it. So except for FF XI,the next two titles to take advantage of the hard drive will be SOCOM II and Syphon Filter, with downloadable content planned for both games.

Along with the HDD come a variety of features, so expect the usual MP3, digital Photo storage and editing and a PS2 media player.
The drive will extend the PS2's capabilities and will neatly compliment the Network Adapter but the announcement does raise the question of cost. How much will PS2 owners have to pay in total in order to bring their console up to XBox hardware standards? To many the sheer size of the PS2 games catalogue is enough of an incentive to forgive the extra cost but others are bound to consider that the most expensive console plus an adapter and a USD 100 HDD are just too much to dish out for the priviledge of the PlayStation experience.

No plans of a European release were announced although it is fairly certain that a similar device will become available there once the online service catches up with the U.S.