The European Court of First Instance has ruled that the Sony PlayStation 2 is a computer, not a video game, in a move that will make the device exempt from European tariffs.
The European Commission had defined PlayStation 2 as a game for the purposes of setting import tariffs in March 2000. Sony appealed against that decision in July 2001. Games imported into the European Union carry tariffs, but computers can be imported tariff free.
The court said in a statement that it annulled the commission's classification of PlayStation 2 and ordered the commission to pay all the costs of the appeal.
Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd said the issue of tariffs would soon become academic, as the ones on games are rapidly being reduced. In 2000 they stood at 2% of the retail price of the product. This year they amount to 0.6% and at the beginning of next year the tariff will be scrapped completely.
Paul Meller writes for IDG News Service