Sony looks to challenge XBOX Live

The Sony Computer Entertainment Europe tour continues as Eurogamer chimes in with a report specifically detailing the PlayStation 3's online system. The article mainly goes over the similarities and differences between Sony and Microsoft's approach to online gaming, pointing out the weakness in PS2 online, and comparing PS3's planned system to XBOX Live. One such area of difference is how transactions will take place:

Unlike Nintendo and Microsoft's offerings, Sony doesn't hide the price of items behind an arbitrary "points" scheme - instead, everything simply lists a price in your local currency, so European types will see a Euro price, British people will see prices in Pounds Sterling, and so on. The Wallet, then, is basically your transaction centre - you put money into the Wallet, and then spend it in the store. Equally, you can set it up so that if you have associated accounts, for children for example, you can put a certain amount into their Wallets each month, giving them an allowance for how much can be spent on new content. Crucially, the Wallet is used for everything on the system - even for MMOG subscriptions to third parties. If it's on the PlayStation Network, you pay for it via Sony and the transaction with the third party is worked out elsewhere - so you're not expected to give credit card details out willy-nilly to everyone with content or services on the PS3.

Sony may see micro-transactions to be a big source of revenue from its online service. If reports are correct, games such as Gran Turismo HD will require users to purchase cars and courses for use exclusively online. Outside of games, Sony has its own record labels and motion picture productions, which would naturally lend themselves well to downloadable music and movies.

For more PlayStation 3 previews from across the pond, check out the ones from PSM3 and IGN UK.

"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home
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