Sony's basic service is expected to leapfrog Xbox Live Silver

Details are starting to come forth concerning the PlayStation 3's online service which will compete with Xbox Live. The PS3's basic free service will match up against Xbox Live Silver, but it goes far beyond just the “basics.”

The free service will allow for full community features including voice/video chat, messaging, matchmaking, ranking and service updates for games. Where Sony's basic service has a leg up on Xbox Live Silver is the ability for gamers to play multiplayer games online for free. A "Gold" membership is required for online multiplayer gaming on Xbox 360.

Sony's new online service is also expected to give publishers more control over how their game servers are run:

Sony's system will be handing off significantly more control to game publishers, who will be able to run their own game servers as they see fit. Although Sony will be creating a standard infrastructure for the service, with data centres in Asia, North America and Europe, the system will still run over the conventional Internet and publishers will be able to connect their own servers to it.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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