'The Sims' sign up with Sony

Electronic Arts says the popular PC game, which lets players create and control a virtual family, will make its game console debut this fall on PlayStation 2.

"The Sims" want to move in to your living room.

Electronic Arts said Monday that the popular PC game, which lets players create and control a virtual family, will make its game console debut this fall on Sony's PlayStation 2.

The announcement comes at the start of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) trade show in Los Angeles. The move is a boost for Sony, which recently cut the price of its PlayStation 2 to $199, a markdown quickly followed by Microsoft with its Xbox console.

"The Sims" debuted in February 2000 and has spawned a number of expansion packs, including "The Sims House Party," "The Sims Hot Date" and "The Sims Vacation." Electronic Arts said it has sold 15 million "Sims"-related titles.

Electronic Arts said during an earnings conference call earlier this month that it would unveil an online version of "The Sims," appropriately dubbed "The Sims Online," during the third quarter of this year.

Executives said the online version was expected to play a major role in pushing the company's EA.com unit toward profitability in the 2003 fiscal year. The company said it expects to have 400,000 subscribers, paying around $15 a month, by the end of the year.

An Electronic Arts representative said that the company will continue to evaluate porting "The Sims" to other gaming devices but that there are no firm plans to bring the game to any other console.

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