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Basic PSN service to include online gaming

Could  Krazy Ken Kutaragi's Playstation Network be "live," "4D" and largely "free" when it comes to online gaming? It looks that way according to this story (No, I'm not trying to turn this site into PS3 fanboy):

...regarding the PlayStation Network Platform, [TeamXbox has] learned that the basic service will be free and include online gameplay, at least at launch; only specific titles like MMO games and premium services like online storage will require an additional fee.

Microsoft is telling us not to expect big changes in their strategy no matter what Sony does, but the news that the PS3 may offer "free" online gaming at the base level has to affect people's opinion of Xbox Live. Sony is playing catch up in this area of the business and offering gamers more for less is one way to get our attention (It's certainly better than stupid buzzwords like "4D"). Then again, at a predicted price point well above the Xbox 360's, the PS3 isn't exactly going to be a bargain hunters dream. Maybe this is Sony's way of taking the edge off that Paris Hilton price tag. Or will all the good games end up charging their own fee anyway?

This developement  forces me to wonder if MS will eventually offer online gaming with XBL Silver, or just do away with membership levels altogether.  Even if Sony is just using this as a short-term gimmick for the PS3 launch, it could lead to more "Free Gold Weekends"for 360 owners, like the promo coming up at the end of March.

Do you think making PSN "4D and free" is a smart move on Sony's part? More importantly, does it require a response from MS? Do you think you are paying a fair price for XBL Gold?


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1. Sony was also supposed to let you use AOL with their PS2. Sony also confirmed last month that the ps3 was still scheduled for a spring launch. Sony also said the Kill Zone 2 trailer was real time.

Come on people! I'd really like to believe this, but like everything that comes from sony, I don't trust it. They may do it for a little bit, but eventually they will charge you something. I got burned once by sony, and I am not going to let it happen again. I'll decide if I am going to get the ps3 when it is out on shelves and I can see first hand what comes with the console.

Posted at 7:57PM on Mar 19th 2006 by SickNic 0 stars

2. You are reading too much into this. It will be an inferior service and the only way Sony can compensate is to try and offer it for free (I don't think they realise how much it will cost yet).

As far as Live's pricing goes ye it's just Multiplayer, but for how much of a community experience it gives me when playing with friends I consider it well worth the cost.

Posted at 8:11PM on Mar 19th 2006 by Brook 0 stars

3. $50 a year is far from being not worth it. I'd love to see Sony do this, MS will definitly have some kind of response, but it's Sony, so I'll believe it when I see it.


P.S. Sony will probably find some kind of way to DRM the shit out of thier service. Lol...

Posted at 8:27PM on Mar 19th 2006 by L Capitan 0 stars

4. I don't think MS will respond any differently then maybe offering another free Gold Weekend. I think that if MS offers a free Gold Weekend when Sony luanches it wil see that they feel preasured by Sony, which they aren't. I think Gold is the best, the best price, it is the cheapest bill I have all year, and I get the most out of it.

Posted at 8:29PM on Mar 19th 2006 by aj 0 stars

5. The XBOX live system is run on Microsoft servers and is microsoft controlled. So the Game makers only have to write software following the xbox live guidelines.

Similar to the PS2 the Playstation 3 servers will be controlled by the game making company. So not only does the game making company have to write the software, they also have to setup and maintain the servers that the data is transmitted to.

If you think of the cost running your own servers for thousands of gamers and the idea that its easy just to write the code for XBOX live. you will see just like in the OLD-GEN systems most multiplatform games with be online only on microsoft.

Just think in the game making prospective. Why setup servers, write the code, and pay the upkeep for the lifetime of the system when you could just not.

And to those of you how like multiplatform isn't going to happen. The reason games are costing 60 bucks instead of 50 is because the prohibitive cost of designing the game. Graphics, Physics,Storyline,CG it's getting crazy for games. The best way to increase profit yeilds is to go multiplatform. Ea is already doing it everyone else is soon to follow.

Posted at 8:38PM on Mar 19th 2006 by elementalwinds 0 stars

6. ya it's gonna be free for the games that nobody plays hahaha sony is full of it

Posted at 8:53PM on Mar 19th 2006 by Edwin 0 stars

7. As awesome as Live is, Sony can provide their service at no charge and I'd happily pay even $100 a year for Xbox Live.

Posted at 9:02PM on Mar 19th 2006 by Corey Poole 0 stars

8. Sony's full of themselves. Heck, if the PS3 makes it's November launch I'll be suprised.

Honestly, I think Sony is putting WAY too much into the PS3, trying to make it better than the XBox 360. They're trying to simply 1up them in every way. Slightly better performance, slightly bigger hard driver, slightly better online service (psh). They aren't trying to revolutionize gaming or help it in any way, they're just trying to make a quick buck by doing this the cheap-ass way.

Posted at 12:22AM on Mar 20th 2006 by SuiXide 0 stars

9. Ken Kutaragi is well known to promise more than he and Sony can keep. We don't know enough about Sonys online service yet, and nothing about the quality. Xbox Live is a stable and very good service, and I find the yearly fee I pay for Xbox Live well worth it.

Posted at 1:00AM on Mar 20th 2006 by Faragondk 0 stars

10. Well... if I were Sony, I would advertise a free service too! Just to try and gain a little land into the XBL territory.

At the moment it's all speculation and hype.
I have no doubt that the PS3 will wipe the 360 (even as a 360 fanboy!) but mainly due to the quantity of games rather than the quality!

Posted at 4:05AM on Mar 20th 2006 by Taoski 0 stars

11. I think this is the only way that Sony will have any chance to take away people from Xbox Live to head to their new PSN. I mean XBox Live has over 4 years of experience and is tried and true. There is no way Sony will have a live service that will be able to compete with Xbox Live so having it free is the only thing they can do to not get completely dominated in the online industry.

And why should MS make their live service free anyway? It a great service, and it's only $50 a year. If you can't afford that, then you really shouldn't be paying for monthly broadband service anyway. I think the price is great, especially when it's a already proven to be the best thing out there.

Posted at 8:15AM on Mar 20th 2006 by Professor Stoli 0 stars

12. Free is good, but a reliable service costs !

as a sony fanboy for years, i have come to the xbox side of gaming, and im LOVING IT!

xbox games are FUN, playstation games are just execive adverts for movies!!!

Even though I cant afford XBOX live, i will try very much to get some money to pay for it!

its great, exept PDZ, which has so many connection problems with so many users!!!!!

SONY, expect to have no sales! cos wen halo 3 comes, hahahahaha!!!!!!!

Ashley williams - UK (14 yrs old!)

Posted at 8:43AM on Mar 20th 2006 by Ashley Williams 0 stars

13. Sony is going to run into trouble wiht this system, without really charging money...that is IF they DONT just run you with advertisement.

The system costs a good amount of money, and I dont know if Sony doesnt realize just how much.

Posted at 9:08AM on Mar 20th 2006 by Matt 0 stars

14. Microsoft isn't the largest software company in the world for nothing. I have no doubt they will bring forth some sort of innovation by November to quell the cry for PS3. Eight months is a long time and Microsoft has almost unlimited resources to make Sony's life a little more difficult.

Posted at 9:36AM on Mar 20th 2006 by Jimmy 0 stars

15. Gotta hand it to Sony. They flat-out lie about the reason for pushing the PS3 launch to Nov 06 and no one takes them to task for it. To ensure that no one follows up, they fire off a "newsworthy" announcement which causes everyone to focus on THAT instead of the lie.

Sony stated that the reason for pushing out the launch was because of copyright protection issues with Blu-Ray. THAT was a lie. If Sony was otherwise on-track for a Spring launch...

Where are the working models of the PS3?
Where is the official Sony PS3 webpage (that includes actual dimensions of the unit)?
Where are all of the in-game movies/teasers?
Why are the final PS3 devkits being shipped in June?

Posted at 10:07AM on Mar 20th 2006 by sracer 0 stars

16. I would feel better about paying for XBL if I didn't get disconnected from games so much.

I personally think we need dedicated servers for large multiplayer games. This business of charging us so much money for what is basically a featureless version of xfire is crap.

I do enjoy my new X360, and for the most part XBL is a good service... but in all honesty, I can not get through a single day of online gaming without having to deal with numerous dropped games and disconnections. I think a big part of this has to do with the upload bandwidth of our broadband... and dedicated servers would go a long way to fix this.

Please fix this, Microsoft. Hosting games on our own machines was a good idea, but it's just not working... give us proper game servers.

Posted at 10:11AM on Mar 20th 2006 by jaemz 0 stars

17. #16

I have played Xbox Live in 3 different cities in 2 different states over the past 4 years and have never had the connection issues your talking about. Maybe you should get things checked out on your end as it's probably not the Live service. Your broadband is probably the bottleneck here.

I am a total 360 fanboy and I still would like to consider whether or not buying a PS3 would be worth it...but so far we don't have any concrete information. I really don't believe anything Sony says as the touted the PS3 almost a year ago at E3 and still haven't shown a single gameplay trailer, or hardware spec that I can trust is the honest to God truth. They are whishy washy about everything and is it just me or does anyone else find their promise of a simultaneous worldwide launch a bit far fetched. Look what they did with the PSP. There is no way in heck that Sony will be able to pull off a Worldwide launch without a heck of allot more headache than Microsoft had with theirs.

I suspect demand for the PS3 will be greater than the 360 launch. I predict PS3's even harder to find that 360's were this Christmas with plenty of 360's on the shelf to go around...but of course they will sell out as well a few weeks before Christmas.

Posted at 11:50AM on Mar 20th 2006 by Jon 0 stars

18. Regardless of what the PS3 does, I would love to see free gold weekends every weekend. Just make them ad or sponsor-supported. It'd be a good way to get non-Live folks into gaming online.

Posted at 12:07PM on Mar 20th 2006 by Andrew 0 stars

19. $50 a year is cheap for the reliability for all xbox live games across the board. the new 360 features such as downloading demos/videos and the gamercard more than justify the yearly fee. if sony offers a free online service, i don't see how it can be anywhere near as nice as xbox live. sony has to make money somewhere, assuming they will sell hardware at a loss, and a free online service is not free for sony to implement.

Posted at 12:43PM on Mar 20th 2006 by John 0 stars

20. This will be a good thing for all gamers.

If Sony can deliver a consistent on-line experience, then the pressure will be on MS to deliver a higher quality experience to XBL memebers, maybe at a reduced cost.

If Sony's model proves to be a hassle for gamers (different user names for each publisher's servers?), then MS will be able to continue to push XBL's features and maybe force Sony into a centralized model.

Either way, we will end up benefitting in the end.

Posted at 12:50PM on Mar 20th 2006 by Thomas Crymes 5 stars

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