Sony Entertainment robot AIBO makes debut in European retail

BERLIN August 5 (PROTEXT/PRNewswire)

Sony Europe has today announced plans to make its AIBO entertainment robot available through a wide network of retail stores in Europe. Until this summer, AIBO was available for purchase only via a dedicated website and telephone sales channel.

"The decision to broaden AIBO's availability follows the company's high profile television and print advertising campaign where AIBO (silver ERS-210) appeared as its mascot," said Nicolas Babin, Director of Sony Entertainment Robot Europe. "In particular, our TV advertising campaign featuring various Sony products gave many people the first chance to experience the mascot AIBO. They liked what they saw so much that we have been overwhelmed with requests to purchase our entertainment robot throughout Europe," he added.

By making AIBO available within selected retail stores throughout Europe, consumers will have a chance to touch and feel this advanced robotic companion. This way, the AIBO concept that centres on artificial intelligence, interactivity and fun will become more accessible to a larger European audience. AIBO enters the European 'league'

Following the first TV commercial that was aired during the time of the World Cup, AIBO was released on the UK market on 1 July 2002 via numerous retail outlets. Already representing Sony's largest European AIBO market, the strong response from UK consumers has encouraged Sony to make AIBO similarly available in other parts of Europe. An independent survey has shown that the typical profile of an AIBO owner is a male between 25 and 45 years old, who enjoys using technologically advanced products. Retail launches are planned in France and the Netherlands during September. Another priority market for Sony is Eastern Europe, with the Czech Republic slated for a launch from October 1st. Through these channels, users can purchase the ERS-210 (silver) and the ERS-220 (futuristic design) models. Alongside the hardware, the stores will stock an extensive range of programs, including AIBO Life, AIBO Explorer, AIBO Navigator and AIBO Messenger.

"The TV and print advertising campaign has captured the public's imagination and we need to provide closer contact to satisfy public curiosity of this advanced Sony entertainment world," explained Babin. "Shortly, consumers can experience AIBO in conjunction with other exciting Sony products for themselves. We believe they will experience AIBO, and start a long term relationship based on intelligent interaction, entertainment and fun." AIBO Club

With the enthusiastic reaction from the public, Sony has announced plans to establish an AIBO Club from October 1st. Accessed via the website, the AIBO Club will create a close link between AIBO's developers and the increasing number of owners and AIBO fans throughout Europe. The AIBO Club will serve as a central portal to any AIBO related content in Europe and provide additional brand experience supported by product videos, flash animations, pictures and screen savers. After the AIBO customers will have registered to the AIBO Club, they will be able to immediately join the AIBO discussion forum as well as have exclusive access to value added information by Sony such as free downloads of AIBO programmes and software on a Memory Stick, download of AIBO logos and ring tones on mobile phones, as well as videos or pictures. About Sony Europe:

Sony manufactures audio, video, communications and information technology products for the global consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, game and online businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to become a leading personal broadband entertainment company in the 21st century. In Europe Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of EUR 14.76 billion (yen 1,609 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002, based on an average market exchange rate for the same period of yen 109 to the euro. Sony Europe, headquartered at the Sony Center am Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, is responsible for the company's European electronics business and registered consolidated sales of EUR 9.36 billion* for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002. Entertainment Robot Europe is an European Sony business group which is responsible for marketing and sales of the entertainment robots AIBO.

For more information on Sony Europe, please visit

For more information on AIBO, please visit: (* Figures for the cellular phone business from October 1, 2001 are excluded from Sony Europe's consolidated sales.)


Sylvia Shin Corporate Communications Europe

Sony Europe GmbH tel: +49 30 2575 5156,

fax: +49 30 2575 5174


In addition, for any queries about Sony in your respective country, please contact your local Sony PR office corporate communications europe.

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