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Sony strikes Real deal

Sony Computer Entertainment and RealNetworks unveiled a strategic alliance on Wednesday to enable access to streamed media through Sony's PlayStation 2 video game machine.

Sony will embed the RealPlayer 8 and other RealNetworks software in its PlayStation 2 system. So video gamers can listen to digital music while they play games with customized versions of the RealPlayer to be part of the PlayStation 2. It's the second major PlayStation alliance Sony has announced in as many days, following the revelation of its new relationship with America Online on Monday. Sony said it will also make the RealNetworks software available to developers so they can incorporate audio and video in their games.

The combination of the AOL and RealNetworks alliances bolsters Sony's position versus Microsoft, which has suddenly emerged as a video game player wannabe that must be regarded seriously.
- Richard Tedesco