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Friday March 17 11:44 AM ET

Sony's PlayStation2 Contains Glitch

TOKYO (AP) - Sony Corp.'s (NYSE:SNE - news) video game unit said Friday it will replace software for its new PlayStation2 game machine to fix a programming bug that allows it to run foreign digital video discs.

The DVD player was mistakenly programmed with a code that allows it run movie disks sold outside Japan, said Kenichi Fukunaga, a spokesman for Sony Computer Entertainment.

``This may not be a bad thing from a user's perspective, but as a company we have a responsibility to uphold software copyright agreements,'' Fukunaga said.

Makers of DVD players have agreed to program the machines to play only movie discs that are sold in the same region, i.e. DVD players sold in Europe will only play discs sold in Europe.

Sony, which is marketing the PlayStation2 as the centerpiece for digital home entertainment, has shipped 1 million of the machines since the March 4 launch.

Sony says the system will go on sale in the United States before Christmas.

The consumer electronics giant is counting on the successor to its hit PlayStation to extend its lead over rivals Nintendo Co. and Sega Enterprises Inc. in the $20 billion global market for video games.

The bug is the second widely reported flaw of the PlayStation2. Last week, Sony acknowledged that the game system's detachable memory card can in rare cases erase data that runs the system and the DVD player, rendering the console useless.

-- (, March 23, 2000

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