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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