Semi-interesting article discussing potential Xbox Live killer from Sony. It plods through the potential weapons that Sony has at it’s disposal if it builds it’s own internet service for the PS3.
Sony needs to do this. Despite the lead MS has had on a developing a gaming service it has only just brought out the marketplace functionality which when used is clunky and not thought out properly. PS3 will sell more than the 360 and hence a network service that connects Sony’s platform – video, music, photo’s and games would be adopted by a lot more people than Xbox Live. I guess the key is at what price and when? The hardware is all still rumours and it could be this time next year before us in the UK get to play with the new toys.
MS also need a challenger in this field. Many games still only support 8 players as they use peer to peer hosting. Increased broadband speeds haven’t seen the jump in the number of users that can be hosted but that’s more to do with latency (ping times) being the key to a good host – not 10Meg download & 500k upload speeds. Server based hosting (even paid) is required so we can see the numbers that PC games can support on consoles. Sony having a similar service would also see a lot more development from Japan where originality can be found more often than the sequel fueled USA & European markets. MS also dropped their XSN sports network which had so much potential. It sorted out leagues and scoring and meant that joining online tournaments was easy and the admin work zero for all competitors. Sony would win a lot of friends if this type of functionality was added to Pro Evo 6 for example.
So many hardware vendors are chasing the all in one media player but very few have come near or have the infrastructure to do it. I would have said Sony a year ago wouldn’t stand a chance as they still didn’t support mp3 playback on their devices. They’ve changed a lot though in a short time. Looking at all the different parts of the puzzle surely a unifying network/service on the PS3 would deliver PS3 users a killer app without even buying a game. I can dream…especially as I’ve got all the other Sony hardware to make up the jigsaw.