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Sony Takes Aim at Xbox Live 287

Posted by Zonk
from the finally-a-real-fight dept.
Joystiq and the site ComputerandVideoGames are reporting on the first real action in the next-gen war. Sony is apparently readying a strong online service that will meet or exceed the features of Xbox Live. With no firm PS3 launch date yet released, the 360 still has the advantage, but if Sony is rolling out an online matching and media service with their (reportedly) more powerful console things could look bad for Microsoft's new system. From the article: "This story, together with the recent survey Sony conducted, should remove any doubts about Sony's online ambitions. Is it possible that Sony could create a network the size and scale of Xbox Live in such a short time. It has cost Microsoft, the world's largest software company, billions and taken years just to lay the framework for the current Live service. Sony is know for their hyperbolic marketing: the PS2's Emotion Engine, the PSP as iPod-killer; it seems unlikely they could take the crown from Microsoft on their first try, but any attempt is a huge relief. It was beginning to look like Sony didn't think the Live service was a valuable addition to console gaming, or a serious competitor to their hegemony. "
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Sony Takes Aim at Xbox Live

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  • by ShaneThePain (929627) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @05:21PM (#14610668) Journal
    Playstation 3 with rootkit pre-installed!
    • Playstation 3 with rootkit pre-installed!

      Indeed funny, but the Sony handling of this has made me to avoid buying their products. Unless Sony offer something much better I buy from the competition. Believe me, if consumers buy 10% less from Sony than usual Sony will pay real close attention.

    • No... (Score:5, Funny)

      by ickeicke (927264) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @05:49PM (#14610957)
      The great thing about this new network from Sony, is that it can install rootkits for you. And not even on-demand, but non-demand! Isn't that great?

      Except in Soviet Russia of course, there the rootkits install Sony's new network...
    • Slashdot Humor (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Aegis9975bb2 (931810) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @08:46PM (#14612406)
      Does (any Sony product) + (Rootkit Installed) = (Barrels of laughter at Slashdot)???

      Never gets old does it? Boy, the laughs never stop here at Slashdot!
    • Gosh, I didn't know BMG were having a hand in the production of the PS3.

      You learn something new every day...

  • Right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by buffer-overflowed (588867) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @05:22PM (#14610685) Journal
    I'll believe it when I see it. Feature for feature and then some. Right. I have a bridge in NY and some beach front property in Arizona to sell you.

    And the Emotion Engine is powering my workstation, Cell will dominate all electronics on the planet, the PSP will kick Nintendo out of the handheld market and beat the iPod in one fell swoop. Yada yada yada. Oh and something about incredible real-time CGI. When it all falls flat on it's face it's going to be whoever bought it's fault for not understanding the awe-inspiring vision that is exuded by the Sony corporation.

    Put on your waders boys and girls, stand very still and brace yourself, the Sony people are talking and you wouldn't want to be killed by the bullshit.
    • Re:Right (Score:3, Insightful)

      well, you clearly have no prejudices.
      maybe you should, in fact, wait till you see it.
      • Re:Right (Score:3, Insightful)

        Only a fool or an idiot believes what Sony says during their pre-launch period.

        There's no need for prejudice.
        • only a fool or an idiot believes what any corporation says about any product in its pre-launch phase.
          why sony in particular has earned your ire, I honestly cant fathom
      • Re:Right (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AJH16 (940784) *
        A little tip for the masses. When a company says they are going to release the most revolutionary product known to man. That it will completely blow away the competition and that it will be superior to any other products, even if they cost 6 times as much, then they say it will have a price tag under $500 and fail to mention that most of the technology that they need doesn't even exist yet, chances are good they have something in common with the apes at the zoo. They like to fling their own crap.
  • Free? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Eightyford (893696) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @05:26PM (#14610713) Homepage
    Will the online service be free?
    • Re:Free? (Score:3, Funny)

      by mordors9 (665662)
      Heh, yeah, that's the ticket... free. Is that as in beer or GPL...
    • Re:Free? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by alphaseven (540122)
      Short answer, it's unknown at this point.

      My guess would be that Sony leaning towards free. I wouldn't be surprised if the PS3 came with some free service for messaging and starting up games, like Xfire or All-Seeing Eye, with developers left on their own for dealing with online play, which is pretty similar to the PC model of online gaming. This is just my guess.

      But remember, nothing is really "free". If you don't pay a monthly fee you'll be paying somewhere else, it'll just be embedded in the cost of g

      • I for one, bought the Network adapter and find it somewhat of a disappointment since Sony has never really released any of the cool internet-based content that they *should* have delivered.

        DEAR SONY:

        - Please make the network adapter on the PS2 more useful.

        - Please release a *FREE* or very low cost. Linux distribution. Your Linux kit was too expensive, impossible to buy separately, and quickly went obsolete.

        - Please provide some sort of appliance-like web browser for the PS2

        Set Linux on the PS2 free! With so
        • The PS2 has a web browser, and a portal... it comes on the CD that you get with the network adapter (or at least it did in the betas... I never tried a retail one).
        • What the hell is the point of putting Linux on a PS2? The thing has barely any RAM (certainly not enough to do anything useful) and its processor isn't very fast. A linksys router has half the RAM of the PS2 (16MB), and a 200MHz MIPS CPU. The PS2 isn't significantly faster (with the exception of the graphics hardware).
    • Should they raise the price of the games in order to pay for the service? Passing the costs on to people who can't, or aren't interested in, playing online? Might be ok for online centric games, like the battlefield series (not that it even has much infrastructure), but I can't see it working in the console space.
  • Sony might having to perform a "me, too" not so much because of MS - but the combination of MS and Nintendo both having online services, plus both having a "purchase games via this interface" system (the Revolution possibly having a monthly subscription for playing the NES/SNES/N64 games).

    Sony might have decided that if even Nintendo was doing an online route, they didn't want to be the last ones to the party. My guess is that they'll tell developers "You can still have the setup you want" (so if someone like EA wants to run thier own lobby/interface with ad revenue, they can), "... or you can use ours" (so publishers won't have to put all of thier resources into hosting servers - let Sony do it).

    If so, I think it would be a good thing for Sony, if for no other reason than not look like the odd duck out.
    • by Dark Paladin (116525) * <jhummel@jo[ ]ummel.net ['hnh' in gap]> on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @05:45PM (#14610919) Homepage
      But I missed the most obvious thing.

      Duh me.

      When I finished reading how downloading games aren't just for pirates [1up.com], and the use of Steam and MS Live for purchasing games, it became a "duh" moment as to why Sony wants their own online service:

      Selling games. You can buy games off of Steam and Xbox Live for around $10 to $20 apiece, which brings us to a kind of "long tail" theory: not everybody wants to buy a game for $50, but there are probably plenty who will buy one for $15 or $10 if it's fun.

      Sony can use that, and if they're making a good chunk of 25% off of each game sold, that's more revenue. Nintendo already stated they wanted to have independants on their online network, Microsoft has that now (see the success of "Geometry Wars" - and Sony sees those dollars.

      I should have realized that first. I wasn't thinking greedy enough. I'm sorry.

      • Example from experience here - Darwinia. I would never have bought it boxed-copy unless I saw it in a bargain bin whilst wandering, because of the time and effort taken to find and buy it on top of the cost. Steam made it available far faster, for less money. I bought it, and it gave me many hours of entertaining gameplay.
  • by Chabil Ha' (875116) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @05:28PM (#14610731)
    It's interesting the juxtaposition of roles here. Sony was the incumbent of the console wars, leaving M$ in the position of proving itself. I think it is pretty safe to say that M$ has given Sony a run for its money, and now M$ is the incumbent to a firmly entrenched online gaming network.

    To put succinctly, Sony has one shot to get it right--not to dethrone M$, but prove that its online gaming shows the potential to rival or better M$'s system.
    • by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatmanNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @05:40PM (#14610854) Homepage Journal
      It's interesting the juxtaposition of roles here. Sony was the incumbent of the console wars, leaving M$ in the position of proving itself. I think it is pretty safe to say that M$ has given Sony a run for its money, and now M$ is the incumbent to a firmly entrenched online gaming network.

      We've been here before. Back in 1995, Sega announced their early release of the Saturn to get the drop on Sony. They were quite proud of themselves and thought that their $399 price tag (equivalent to Sony's expected price) combined with the early release would put them in the lead. Then the spokesperson got up to the microphone at the E3 and said three words that killed the Saturn on arrival.

      "two ninety-nine"

      The Playstation undercut the Saturn by a full hundred dollars, maintaining its expected lead in the market. It was released several months later to much fanfare, while no one purchased a Saturn.

      Will Sony pull a rabbit out of it's hat again? Maybe. All I know is that there's a lot of noise about the 360, yet not all that many people seem to have one.
      • Yes, well, but this time Sony's not saying 299. All they're saying is that it's not going to be cheap. And there's no word on when it'll be released. So, there goes the Saturn analogy.

        MS has shipped one and a half million xboxes already (in the period Nov 22 - Dec 31), so there are a lot of boxes out there already. Could be more, of course.

        • Umm.. I know 1.5 million might sound like a big number to you, but in relation to world wide sales - it's not. Especially so for a 'launch'.
        • That's tiny for 6 weeks from launch for a worldwide release. PS2 sold 1 million in just the first weekend in Japan. On it's launch in the US, PS2 sold 1/2 million the first day. The Gamecube sold 700,000 units in the first 3 days in the US.
      • by nathanh (1214) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @02:17AM (#14613875) Homepage
        We've been here before. Back in 1995, Sega announced their early release of the Saturn to get the drop on Sony. They were quite proud of themselves and thought that their $399 price tag (equivalent to Sony's expected price) combined with the early release would put them in the lead. Then the spokesperson got up to the microphone at the E3 and said three words that killed the Saturn on arrival.

        Well, there was also the small matter that the PlayStation had significantly better 3D than the Saturn; the Saturn was strong in 2D but 3D seemed like an afterthought. Plus the PlayStation had the launch title of all launch titles... Tekken.

        I appreciate that the urban legend is that the three magic words "two ninety nine" at E3 caused the Saturn to fail, but I don't buy it. Price alone is not that significant a factor. If it was then the Gamecube would have been far more popular than the PS2 or Xbox. It's more about the games and the PlayStation had the better games. That's also why the Dreamcast tanked; it was a better console but PS2 had better games.

        • by lidocaineus (661282) on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @09:05AM (#14614888)
          hat's also why the Dreamcast tanked; it was a better console but PS2 had better games.

          Wha... what?!? It was the EXACT OPPOSITE my friend. The Dreamcast has been known to have one of the best libraries available, even if it didn't quite match the PS2 on the hardware level (though still held its own). In fact, the PS2 had one of the most terribly launch titles available - the really good stuff took awhile to come down the pipeline. Meanwhile, Sega was experiencing a creative zenith at the time (which, was unfortunately overshadowed by PS2 hype). I love my PS2, but don't try and pretend it killed the DC on games at the beginning.
    • by ivan256 (17499) * on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @06:16PM (#14611188)
      and now M$ is the incumbent to a firmly entrenched online gaming network

      It's just that firmly entrenched means something totally different to Microsoft than Sony. The number of Live subscribers almost reached 0.4% of the number of PS2 owners in the last generation. No wonder Sony didn't try too hard to go after those customers...

      Dispite all the hype, online gaming just isn't that big yet compared to the overall gaming market.

      Chances are, even without an online service, if the PS3 doesn't win big this generation it won't be because of Microsoft. It'll be because of the PSP. The system that wins is the one with the big name games, and no developer is going to bet against Sony right now.
    • by Inoshiro (71693) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @06:26PM (#14611297) Homepage
      MS's system is sure gabbed about like it's a success, when it's not.

      Xbox Live! has, roughly, 1 million subscribers. There's been a pretty steady state number of subscribers since people would run out of interesting games on Live!, leaving a drought before the next set of interesting titles. Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Capture the Flag became boring after a while.

      Compare this with Nintendo's DS service. They've already peaked over 1 million people in the space of a few months, beating out Microsoft's Xbox Live! service. Surprise, surprise, Microsoft has admitted that it's not working by offering the basic service for free (after all, if you want to pay for basic access, you're going to limit your customer base).

      Nintendo was right to wait and figure out the logistics. Sony was stupid to wait too long, and set some bad precedents on their front. Nintendo has managed to turn a lot of people's biggest complaint into their biggest strength with the DS online service, and it's soon going to be linked to the Revolution service. That's a pretty good lead.
      • The two aren't comparable. Xbox Live (no exclamation point) lets you download games, buy extra content, and play any game which supports its APIs. The Nintendo DS requires every application to implement network connectivity in its own way. Your copy of Mario Kart DS won't support WPA because your cartridge didn't come with the appropriate software to do that. On the Xbox, the network is abstracted away: it could be a wired or wireless connection with whatever encryption, and the games will play the same
      • Um, look... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Hitto (913085)
        I'm a Nintendo fanboy, have always been, will always be.
        But currently, Nintendo WFC supports a grand total of three games. I haven't given Tony Hawk a try yet, so I can only speak for Mario kart and Animal Crossing.

        "It's there" is the only good thing I can say about it. Yes, it is a huge leap forward to at last be able to play like-minded individuals who were bored outta their minds while playing their friends on regular Mario Kart, watching the others duke it out for a good thirty seconds to see who would
      • Xbox Live! has, roughly, 1 million subscribers. There's been a pretty steady state number of subscribers since people would run out of interesting games on Live!, leaving a drought before the next set of interesting titles. Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Capture the Flag became boring after a while.

        Might want to check some of your facts next time before you post. Live hasn't had a pretty steady state of subscribers. Back in July it was above 2 million subscribers. And looking at a random list of the 25 mo [majornelson.com]
    • Friendly Advice (Score:2, Informative)

      by DeadScreenSky (666442)
      Your comment is insightful, but it's a little hard to initially take seriously when you have more "M$"s in it then you do sentences. If you insist on using such childish names maybe just use one early on and let the reader fill them in for the rest of it. That way those of us who recognize that Sony, Nintendo, and other corporations aren't nonprofit charity organizations won't be snickering the whole time.
  • by wfberg (24378) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @05:28PM (#14610733)
    A game console that's coming out in 2006 will have "on-line" capabilities? Really?! I'm shocked! They'll try to be better than their main competitor? You don't say!

    That's like saying Ford will be coming out with a car that has airbags! Or the pepsi company launching a new "soft" "drink" that is carbonated! And they're saying it will taste better than coke or fanta.. I'm so excited!
    • Re:HOW is this news? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Knuckles (8964)
      The news is that so far Sony did not have a unified online service in the manner of Xbox Live. Individual games were expected to provide their own services.
      • The news is that so far Sony did not have a unified online service in the manner of Xbox Live.

        The real news here is that the gaming journalists and analysts that have been speculating as to Sony's motives and plans have all been called out. Yet people will continue to believe the crap that these 'expert analysts' and paid industry shills that call themselves gaming journalists pump out.

        The only people who believed that crap in the first place are the same people who believe the PS3 is going to cost $500 bec
    • by jchenx (267053) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @05:48PM (#14610944) Journal
      It actually is big news because for the longest time, Sony left it to all the game developers to develop all of the online features. The argument was that game developers WANTED to have finer control on all the implementation details. That was fine for large companies, like EA and Square-Enix, but obviously not so easy for smaller companies. (They want to make games, not re-invent the wheel with yet-another-implementation of authentication, leaderboards, in-game messaging, etc.) It also sucked for users, who now had to remember multiple usernames/passwords for multiple games, versus the nice single-login system with Live (and presumably Nintendo's system).

      I'm guessing the fact that Nintendo revealed they were working on something similar (and you can already see some of the progress with wireless DS functionality in Mario Kart DS), really pushed Sony to do a complete 180 and claim they're going to have Live features, "AND MORE!!!!".

      Personally, I'm doubtful they can really pull it off that quickly, if they truly intend on releasing this year. I'm guessing they'll just have some basic functionality, maybe an interesting feature or two that no one has yet (which I'm sure will be hyped plenty), but then miss a lot of the other stuff that Live does have. That will be "version 2", due out in 2007. Even if Sony is able to pull off the implementation (and yes, they DO have some online experience, thanks to Everquest and Star Wars: Galaxies), it's still a lot to expect from 3rd party companies to suddenly comply with whatever online API that they hack together in the next few months.

      That said, it would be nice to have some online feature parity across all the consoles. It just drives more competition and (hopefully) good innovation.
      • As a gamer- I do NOT want a Live like service. I do not want to, and in fact REFUSE to pay monthly to play online games, unless the game is an MMO. I don't want online messaging- if I want someone to be able to message me, I'll give them my email address. I don't want leaderboards- epeen waving doesn't interest me. I don't want to get accused of cheating on game A and suddenly finding I can't log in to any of my games (especially if I wasn't cheating- I was just good). I sure as hell don't want voi
        • I believe all of the added online features (leaderboards, voice chat, messaging) are optional or can be configured via preference settings. At worst, if you don't want them, just don't log in. However, a large number of people DO like some or all of the features that are being presented. Innovation comes when developers try out new functionality. Some of it becomes popular, some of it doesn't, and some are good but have issues (like voice chat with stupid people).

          Free multiplayer is possible, obviously, sin
        • My guess from those preferences is that you are a female gamer. I wonder if Nintendo's online gaming system for the Revolution will be more female friendly? It certainly seems to be the way they have gone with the DS.
  • by msbsod (574856) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @05:34PM (#14610795)
    If you like real action with the IBM Cell processor in the next-gen war, why not try this baby:
    http://www.mc.com/powerblock200/ [mc.com]
    It knocks the stuffing out of any Sony PS3.
  • by Yo Grark (465041) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @05:37PM (#14610820)
    Ok maybe I'm just jaded about having to pay for a console then pay MS for essentially just a NETWORK CONNECTION to other players, but why NOT make it free? (as in air) I know it would make my decision simple when it came to xbox 360 or PS3.

    Actually when I heard you had to PAY to change the skins, I backed off completely. Where are the days when you paid for a product and just enjoyed it without a constantly being nibbled to death by Credit Card Ducks?

    No sir, I will still to my "alternatives", as offline as they may appear to MS, Sony or Nintendo until one day one of these companies gets a clue stick and sets up their system to be more P2P in nature then B2B.

    GIMME MY FREE MULTIPLAYER ONLINE! (not like the game, the console the internet connection cost me anything eh? :| )

    Yo Grark
    • Microsoft is running a buttload of servers to keep everything running, paying a ton of people to handle abuse reports and maintain said servers, and losing money on the hardware as it is. I think $50 a year, or about $4 a month, is reasonable compensation for what is on the whole a very reliable and scalable gaming service where cheating is absolutely forbidden. If you disagree you are free to not use it. Blizzard, EA, etc., run their own servers for free, but they're not selling $400 game consoles at a
    • Pay is nice, and here is why:

      Every user account is tied to a credit card and a real identity. If you ban a player from your game you are hosting (or you file a complaint on a player), they can't create another ID or just switch their IP address. Sure, if you ban them from the game you are hosting, they can always pay another $50 dollars for a years membership, but most likely they aren't going to do that (especially when you can just ban THAT ID if they give you trouble... annoying people are going to go th
      • And, it is like anything, the fact that you pay something weeds out a lot of total losers. It doesn't get rid of all the users by any means, but that barrier to entry is enough to stop the majority of people who would just log on to be annoying.

        I've spent a lot of time online with both the PS2 and Xbox live. There is no difference in the overall amount of idiots and losers between the two. Each title has different percentages but that is a function of the target age of the typical player of that game, not
      • Every user account is tied to a credit card and a real identity. If you ban a player from your game you are hosting (or you file a complaint on a player), they can't create another ID or just switch their IP address

        Ah, but that's a double-edged sword, when you're NOT the one hosting the game. As Blizzard has shown with WoW, the fact that the asshats are paying makes the company less likely to ban them for being asshats and losing that fee. As soon as the population has a non-trivial population of asshats (u
    • by jchenx (267053) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @06:06PM (#14611089) Journal
      FYI, the Silver account mode for Live has everything EXCEPT for actual multiplayer. Silver accounts are free. It's the Gold accounts that cost money. You're paying for the network connection (bandwidth), the servers that host the matchmaking, as well as any updates to the service in the future. And I'm sure some of the money goes back into R&D for future versions, or subsidizes the Silver accounts, or even (*gasp*) profit. I have no idea the pricing scheme for Nintendo or Sony, but I'm guessing they're going to have a similar scheme (or see reduced functionality).

      Your complaint sounds a lot like those who hate the idea of paying monthly for MMOs. Sorry, that's just the cost of doing business. If there weren't people willing to pay for it, then yes, you'd have a lot more things that were just "free" ... although the companies might be paid in other ways: more in-game advertising, higher per-box costs, higher console costs, forced to pay "micro-payments" for new weapons/armor, etc. Or just stuck with fewer features or even NO on-line functionality. (Arguably that's why Sony went with their original model in the first place. Many games don't appear to benefit much at all from online features, like single-player RPGs, so why have one in the first place?)

      One final thing ... you mention that you'd prefer more P2P-style implementation, which I gather you mean peer-to-peer. That's actually one thing I'd pay NOT to see. You just can't trust the client anymore. Arguably, P2P-multiplayer is what's killing many PC games. There's just way too many cheated clients out there, making play experience miserable. Are closed systems perfect? No, but it's certainly a lot harder to crack and the companies have a genuine interest in closing the holes as fast as possible, lest they lose their precious subscription business. Otherwise, bad developers could just say, "Oh well, we shipped the game. It's done. Sorry users, the griefers have ruined the game and we can't do anything about it now." Things like Punkbuster are great and all, but I'd rather just trust the server to do all the calculations, have the client "be dumb", and pay for it.
      • With something like Quake, you don't have to pay a monthly fee, but then it's entirely incumbent on users to run servers. That means that if a server is good or bad depends on the money that the end user is willing to throw at it. Likewise the user controls if the server is fair or not, up to date, and so on. There's nothing wrong with this model, but it doesn't really work so well with console games. An X-box isn't suited to be a server.

        There's also the authentication question. One problem with a non-centr
        • "There's nothing wrong with this model, but it doesn't really work so well with console games. An X-box isn't suited to be a server."

          correct an Xbox isn't a suitable server.

          But a linux box IS. Think about how many of the mentioned genre have linux servers for windows only games.

          I am quite sure maintaining a server list is easily doable too, gamepy turned that into a business, while there are still other sources for master server lists (a http served text file still works too)

          unlock the backend and the po
          • Right but the problem is now you are saying to people "If you want to play this online you need to own a console, which we sell and is simple to use, and another computer which you have to manually configure and we don't sell." Sorry, doesn't work.

            My point is that the beauty of consoles is in the simplicity. When one company totally controls the hardware and development platform, there aren't the problems you encounter in the PC world. No driver incompatibilities, no inadiquate hardware, etc. You buy a game
      • So here's a quick question, how do you "cheat" on an authenticated console? PC I can see, but Console?

        Yo Grark
    • If you want free multiplayer online gaming, then buy a Nintendo Revolution (when it comes out). Nintendo has stated repeatedly that they think it is stupid for a person to have to buy a console, buy a game, and then have to pay a monthly fee to play the game. All online capabilities any Revolution game has through the Nintendo WiFi Connection will be free, just like the current online games are for the Nintendo DS. Nintendo is even providing free WiFi hotspots all over Japan and in select McDonald's stor
  • Infrastructure (Score:3, Insightful)

    by umbrellasd (876984) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @05:38PM (#14610831)
    Well, Sony has been in the EQ game for a while. Sony Online Entertainment. So I have no idea why people would think that Sony has to pull an infrastructure do Live-like functionality out of a hat.
  • mmhmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by UU7 (103653) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @05:41PM (#14610871)
    In other news, DNF will be a PS3 launch title.
    • In other news, DNF will be a PS3 launch title.

      You need to check your sources. I happen to have it on good authority that Duke Nukem Forever will be a Infinium Labs: Phantom exclusive!
  • Frankly, I don't see online play as a major selling point. Sure, there are always hardcore gamers who will pay monthly fees year after year for the chance to play against gamers they've never met, but how does this add any value to the average gamer's purchase?

    Your average Playstation gamer has GTA, a couple sports/wrestling games, and plays with a few buddies huddled around the TV. They have no interest in challenging anonymous strangers, nor to continue paying usage fees for a console they've already sh
    • The one thing that truly tempts me to buy a 360 is Geometry Wars - a game you can only buy on Live.

      So I look forward to a an online service, not to let me play against other so much but instead to make possible the creation and sale of smaller simpler games that will be easier to pick up on a whim.

      Hopefully the service will be free and they'll make it up in online sales.
  • If Sony keeps blowing this much hot air, my heating bills should start to drop! Enough already. I know they need to stay in the news, but I'd rather that they concentrate on releasing a console that has some kick a** games. And of course they know they won't be able to steal the online crown from Live on the first try. Setting up an online service ain't like dustin crops, Sony!
  • Microsoft so screwed up the launch of the 360 the business mags are noting its hurting their bottom line and their outlook. It just floors me that a company so well known for business tactics (underhanded or just otherwise strong arm) managed to flub a launch so horribly. This is beyond the Japan roll out which was busted as far back as their planning meetings.

    The lack of boxes available for the retail chain for the holiday kept me from getting one (and I certainly won't compete to pay $1000 for something
    • by Esteanil (710082) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @06:01PM (#14611057) Homepage Journal
      Why even in NORWAY they have this to say! Bill Gates och hans någotsånär stora företag Microsoft har som alla bör känna till släppt nu två konsoller på marknaden. Den första gick enligt Forbes back hela 4 miljarder dollar. Gates snackar om detta, och han berättar att Xbox'arna är en långtidsinvestering.

      The language you're quoting would be swedish...
      Generally, we norwegians do not write in swedish ;-)
    • "Microsoft so screwed up the launch of the 360 the business mags are noting its hurting their bottom line and their outlook."

      You must live in the Bizarro Universe, where game console launches are meant to snag as many customers as possible in some sort of box-office-movie parallel. That's not how it is in the real world.

      In the real world, Microsoft does not want any gamers to regret buying the XBox 360 yet. They would rather have a strong, solid, but small installed base that will attract the masses around
  • If this is what they intend to do with the PlayStation 3's online offering, will you still be able to play PlayStation 2 games on the console online without having to go through the service?

    If you think Live + PlayOnline is bad, just wait until you install Final Fantasy on your PlayStation 3. Or is that one of the games it won't be backwards-compatible with?
    • I don't see why it would break those online games. It's a little different than Live in that it'll be an entirely new service, not one that is being upgraded. When you pull up FFXI, it >should just check to see if there's a network connection and then go about its business.
  • Development is probably starting with the announcement.
  • A few years ago Sony made a big to do about Cell Processing, and the ability to do distributed computing across networks. The idea was they were going to put Cell processors in everything from soup to nuts, and these would all combine to make your PS3 more powerful. In addition to this, Sony was describing the ability to connect PS3's together over a network and allow them to combine to create a super-computing gaming system.

    The one thing that Sony could do to make their online presence greater then Xbox
  • They could redeem themselves easily with the PS3, with a live network you could add the ability to download games, movies, and music. With WB attempting to profit/"cut losses" in P2P markets Sony could easily compete if they did something along these lines.
  • Interesting... hasn't their whole stance been "you're on your own" in regards to connecting with other players for games? Given that their competition (MS and to a lesser degree, whether or not they consider themselves a competittor, Nintendo) have both rolled out various connection & matchmaking services, both to great success, it would've been foolish of them to not consider doing the same.

    On a side note, if this is related to them missing the purported "spring release" then that's not going to be a
  • by Yez70 (924200)
    Sony Online Entertainment (provider EQ, Matric Online, SWG as well as various PS and PSP online titles) released an interview recntly that sheds a little light on this.... http://www.gamergod.com/article.php?article_id=353 8 [gamergod.com]
  • by CaseM (746707) on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @06:22PM (#14611244)
    Abso-fuckin-lutely not. People are used to Sony's constant hype machine bullshit, and when you're already used to the stink it's pretty easy to tell reality from BS and this is utter BS.

    The fact is, Sony's constant "we don't need a Live service to compete with MS" has been shown to be as last-gen-thinking as the PS2's graphics currently are. Sony NEEDS to compete on this front (XBox Live/Arcade is fantastic) and isn't currently in any position to do it...at least if they launch in '06. MS is already on iteration 2 of their service for god's sake.
  • sony is totally that guy that just makes up outrageous stuff every time he opens his mouth.

    here are some possible add campaigns:

    Sony's online service: more amazing than the time michael jackson came over the house to use the bathroom

    Sony's online service: More amazing than the time kutaragi saved those old people from that nursing home fire
  • Is it possible that Sony could create a network the size and scale of Xbox Live in such a short time? It has cost Microsoft, the world's largest software company, billions and taken years just to lay the framework for the current Live service.

    Billions? The Xbox or Xbox Live? I would think that the Xbox costs billions, but not the online service.

  • Sony is known for their hyperbolic marketing:

    Is there something wrong with the phrase "marketing hyperbole" that I'm missing that leads people to the above construction? I read the above and I wonder, what would constitute "parabolic marketing"?

    Or is this just a hackish construction that relishes the ambiguity and punnage?
  • So let me get this straight. Sony of PS1 and PS2 fame, Sony the company that dominates the video gaming industry, Sony the company that laughed off Microsoft's XBOX Live plans...is now playing catch up? Microsoft, the company that always follows, the company that never innovates, the company that only copies...is the leader? Next thing you know, Apple will buy an old style media company.... Oh wait...
  • What's it take to become a developer for their Live! platform? It seems like the resources needed to develop a game for that market are much lower than a true XBOX360 game. Anyone have info on this?
  • Live (Score:2, Insightful)

    Xbox Live is cool. Everyone says you'd be a sucker to pay, only the hardcore, it's for nerds blah blah blah. It's only a 5 bucks a month. How much do you spend on your cable bill? Xbox Live is a service that costs money to run and should make money too. Why else would they run servers? To spread joy and goodwill througout the world?

    Consider the free service Battle.net. It sucks. There are routine disconects, the clunky interface, and the unregulated spam. Look how great that free service is. I much prefer

  • "Sony announces X" is quite different from "Sony suddenly realizes that it seriously needs X, and will start work immediately". For all we know, they've been working on "PS3 Live" for as long as the PS3 itself, but only chose to announce it now.
    ... and remember, this is Sony. Apart from consumer electronics, they're well established in the content distribution market. For them "PS3 Live" won't just be a gaming matchup service, it'll be another distribution channel with built-in client-side DRM. Given that
  • This is great - the only reason I bought an XBox was to play fighting games on line. If the Playstation 3 actually has decent online capabilities I'll NEVER buy a 360!

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