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
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.