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PSN – PlayStation Network |

PS3Rumours and conjecture. The web was flying with them yesterday about purported news of a Sony online service that rivals Xbox Live. This is a veritable feast of stuff, so let’s dig in, shall we?

First I have to mention the PSP thing. There was the news that the online service would integrate both the PSP and the PS3 on the same online service. Which… is nothing new. I’ve had it in my PS3 FAQ for months. Literally! Months.

So what else? Hmmmm… Let’s see. Here are the quotes from the PSM magazine:

“President of Sony has made it clear that his company has an amibitious new online strategy.”

“Cast aside any doubts and start gazing toward skyward, because thats where Sony is aiming with plans that go far beyond simple leaderboards and matchmaking.”

“Sony has just delivered the final development hardware to U.S. game developers. We can confirm that developers have already begun meetings with Sony’s support teams to make sure their games are compatible with the yet unnamed Online Service.”

“Its very real, one source tells us. They (Sony) are dead serious about it. They’ve declared a full on assault on the latest version of Xbox Live!”

“The online service is being designed to also work with the PSP and its games. Think one, BIG Playstation network!”

The first sentence says nothing. The second sentence mentions leaderboards and matchmaking. Leaderboards is new to me, but matchmaking isn’t. I also had that in my FAQ. The third sentence and fourth, while interesting from a hardware front, really says nothing new about the online service. Speaking of which, let’s get this straight. We’ve always known (see my FAQ) that Sony was working on an online service. Why is everyone going so nuts that it’s being “confirmed” (I’d hardly credit this reliable until I see it)? I just don’t get it. But anyway. Fifth sentence says “it’s very real”. Okay, sure. But nothing new. “Full on assault on Xbox Live” tells me nothing except that they know they’re behind. Which, again, was in my FAQ. And at the end it says that PSP and PS3 thing, which I’ve already covered.

So. What have we learned here folks? Read my FAQ, that’s what! This is all old news (except for the leaderboards). And guess what else? None of it is substantiated. Even though I mention it in my FAQ, if you follow the link reference I put in there, you’ll see that it’s not exactly from the horse’s mouth. And this article isn’t either.

So take a big breath, calm down, and repeat after me: “Whatever Sony’s online plans are, online will be fun.” Even if the online system is exactly like the PS2’s (which I doubt), you’ll still have a blast playing against your friends online. (I won’t, but that’s a different story! 🙂 )

PlayStation Forums – Playstation Live …er life.
the Inquirer – PS3 and PSP online together

  • Gary

    I can’t get excited about online gaming it just doesn’t appeal to me at this moment in time.

    Games like Shadow of the Colossus are what makes single player experiences so great.

  • Speaking of which, I just borrowed that game from a coworker, and I don’ know what to do. I’m wandering around this land, and can’t figure out what I’m to do.

  • Black Guy

    More lip service from Sony. Again, it appears Sony is trying to slip in some news whenever opportune to divert interest from the X360. MS is STILL experiencing difficulties making their hot item fast enough and its a good time for Sony to be dropping bombs on those who want a X360 and don’t have one. Thats why MS, needs to man up & make these things faster while they have the advantage.

    As far as Sony surpassing LIve… won’t happen for a while if @ all. First of all, Live has been in development for about 3-4 years; how long has Sony been working on PS Online? Also, by their own admission, Sony is not exactly known for their software development skills. iMentioned in the past that I’ve listened to an interview of two of the developers and iLearned that there significantly more happenings behind the scenes that simple “leadership boards and matchmaking.” Lastly, If its a service that is as robust as Live, it won’t b free.

  • Black Guy

    iPlayed that game too and was initially lost in the sauce as well. It was not until later that iDiscovered there is a directional beacon using the sword that highlights where u’r destination is. iDon’t remember how to do it, but experiment & u should find out.

  • I totally agree that surpassing Live would be extremely difficult. I doubt that Sony could do it, to be frank. But what they could do is offer some features Live doesn’t, hoping that people will like those features. But thinking of what those features might be would be difficult.

  • I tried that beacon thing. But I realized that when I turned my character, the beacon changes location too.

  • Gary

    Doesn’t the pad not vibrate or the beam of light becomes more concentrated when it hits the direction that you are meant to go?

    I have to wait until Feb 17th for it’s UK release.

  • Really? Okay, I’ll try that.

  • observer

    “I totally agree that surpassing Live would be extremely difficult. I doubt that Sony could do it, to be frank.”

    Really? I’m sure Xbox Live is nice, but all of the features are pretty standard stuff: email, IM, universal login, demo download, auto updates, mini-game store. None of those are terribly hard to implement. I’m sure it takes a good software team to do, but I don’t see why Sony couldn’t hire staff to do that.

    I honestly think that the 360 fans and press wanted something unique to praise, and they found that in Live. People have heard how great and unique Live is repeated enough times that they believe it. I’m not saying it’s bad, I’m sure it’s great and the features are new to the gaming console world, but those features aren’t hard to duplicate. And the unique value that Live presents is really being exagerated by the current Internet PS3/360 gossip ring.

  • observer

    “Again, it appears Sony is trying to slip in some news whenever opportune to divert interest from the X360.”

    Black Guy, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sony has been very tight lipped about the PS3 since E3 2005. It’s the Internet community that is constantly digging up rumors and circulating every tiny little scrap of news like this one.

  • Sure, those technologies are straightforward to implement in a bare bones way. But it is hard to do any software well. My new job requires that I use Lotus SameTime. Which is not nearly as good as MSN Messenger. I would much rather use the latter. Sony has a tough time ahead of it making a system that is just as polished (or more so) than Xbox Live. And it does have to be just as good or better, or people will come down on it really hard.

  • Black Guy

    Live may be standard stuff but to implement them all seemlessly is not that straightforward. Its easy to dream up a concept for a program but its an entirely different beast to actually write it & have it work as intended; anyone who works w/ software just casually knows that.

    It seems that a lot of ppl don’t understand that Live has many complexly arranged elaborate elements that only became solvable through painstaking efforts and years of research. Matchmaking? U think its just putting a player in any random room? iThought so too @ 1st but its not that simple. There are some serious mathematical calculations going behind the scenes to make Live what it is. Some of the work was derived from research on AI; the kind of math that let computers beat humans @ complex puzzle games like chess.

    Whenever iSearch for a game online, Live ALWAYS matches me up w/ ppl of comparable skills. iNever get smoked nor do iCompletely dominate, its balanced and that is one of the magic of Live. Now if iGo pick any game on my own, iMay end up in a room w/ the elites and get my ass handed easily but not it iLet Live take care of business 4 me. Live dynamically evaluates the players performance in every game to estimate their skills and it can “guess” how they will perform if they pitted against player X or B… its really interesting and deep stuff. iWas fascinated when iHeard the interview and read up on it.

    It took between 5 PhDs 4 years to figure out how make this happen so seemlessly, u think Sony is just going to do something so “standard” in under year…. Please.

  • observer

    True, Sony may drop the ball on the implementation. However, the bigger point is that the buzz and excitement and interest in Xbox Live is more evangelical than due to its implementation or polish or convenience or feature set.

    Why else would the 360 early adopters rave about how great the multiplayer is? The 360 currently doesn’t have any multiplayer titles that compete with what that crowd is already used to on the PC. Gamers get their actual online gaming fixes on games like WoW, EQ2, Lineage, or BF2 without much media buzz and attention (I’m sure I missed some big PC RTS and FPS games). The 360 doesn’t have this kind of multiplayer pull yet. People rave about 360 live for evangelical purposes and not because they genuinely love the game experience of PGR3 multiplayer.

  • Black Guy

    Its not about PCs; its about consoles. iDon’t use my rig to play games thats why iGot a console. PC are in league of their own. They always have the most games cuz they have the largest user base and there r more dedicated servers to play multi on. They will always b better cuz their upgradeable. So please stop comparing the two.

    Compare Apples-Apples. X360 vs PS3 vs Revo

    People don’t love X360 cuz of the mulitiplayer but because its crusading enthusiasm? I’m not certain in what context u r using that word but to me, evangelical usual refers to the Christian gospel.

    Either way thats doesn’t make sense. iDoubt too many people will b dropping hundreds on a system that evangelical. Ppl r on PG3 cuz its fun and I’m certain that, like me, many do not care much about PC or can’t afford one or whatever….

  • Black Guy

    This Bayesian statistics formula lets Xbox Live do its thing.

    exp(-(μA-μB)2)/(2*c2)) * √d
    c2 = 2β2 + σ2winner + σ2loser
    d = 2β2/c2