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Sony’s Xbox Live Plagiarism? |

According to Microsoft’s Chris Lewis, what Sony is doing with their online service for the PS3 amounts to plagiarism. It’s quite amazing that Mr. Lewis claims this, especially given that he also says that “I think the service is still hazy in my view in terms of how it’s really going to work for the consumer.” So Mr. Lewis is clarvoiyant enough to see past the fact that doesn’t know much about the service, to the “fact” that Sony is plagiarizing Microsoft’s work?

Yeah, right. This is absurd on two fronts:

1) Microsoft copies other people’s work all the time. They’re actually quite good at it, and if you’re into the software business at all, you know how infamous Microsoft has become for ripping off other people’s ideas. So this is just a little bit of the pot calling the kettle black.

2) Why don’t we just ignore the Xbox Live service from Microsoft for now, and pretend it didn’t exist. Where else could Sony have gone for inspiration for its online service? Hmmmm. Gosh, I can’t think of any way that Sony could have thunk up its online ideas. Not one. NOT!!!! How about their own internal research and development labs? Sony does have them, you know. And gosh, what about its own online service? Sony already has one! They have MMORP games too! Sony could get some ideas from there. And that opens up the whole world of PC gaming. It’s not like every PC user is disconnected from every other and that there’s no online gaming there. Sony has lots of places to look for inspiration for its online service, even if there were no Xbox Live. But to me personally, I don’t care if they take ideas from Xbox Live and use them. That’s what industry is all about – continual improvement.

IGN – Sony Bites Microsoft

  • So…

    #1. If you’re referring to “MS ripping off Apple…” ask Apple about Xerox…give me a break. You an I both know that before Xbox there was no unified online experience (don’t give be any blather about sega dc either).

    #2. If Xbox Live was non existant…where else would Sony get an idea of unified on-line service with TrueSkill matchmaking, friends list, marketplace content, micro-payments, on-line trailers, demos, arcade games, audio/video/picture streaming from a connected pc, voice chat, all games “on-line” aware…I could go on and on. Yeah..where on earth could Sony get such an idea and lump them all together into a single, seamless on-line experience? Hmmmm…. PC’s don’t have that – so don’t play up the PC argument.

    Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Too bad Sony can’t pull it off – If they could, they’d have showed it off by now.

  • 1) Actually no, I wasn’t referring to the Xerox thing, though thank-you for the good example. While Microsoft and Apple did both get their inspiration from Xerox, Xerox’s system was not a production-ready OS. Apple did that first, and there’s no denying Microsoft stole a bunch of Apple’s ideas. That’s why they were sued. Microsoft and Apple settled the dispute with Microsoft giving a huge payment to Apple.

    2) Are you seriously telling me that with Xbox Live Microsoft invented selling stuff online? Downloadable demos? Chat? Trailers? I don’t think so.

  • Gary

    Let’s not forget how similar Windows Vista looks to OS X. Coincidence? I think not.

    Sony bashing is the “in” thing right now the PS3 launch can’t come soon enough…

  • Martin Hansen

    It’s so absurd to think Sony has copied MS and xbox live. Sure it was MS that did something like that first. But it they didn’t, then even I could think of this idea. In today’s internet society this is the only natural and sensible thing to do. Anything else would be stupid. Actually MS creates this locked of area of internet that is separated from the rest. With PS3 we can access the whole internet with the web browser, download movies, music and more.

    Also, with 360 you can only watch those movies that are downloaded from LIVE. To watch anything else you have to buy a media center. When I first heared this I was shocked.. I should be able to put whatever movies I choose onto the HD.

  • I don’t agree with the word plagiarism, but certainly Sony will be looking at XBox Live as the industry benchmark.

  • Koorb: I agree with you totally!

  • observer

    Microsoft is putting out a very effective PR attack campaign against Sony. They’ve attacked every possible aspect of the PS3 that they can: the pricing, blu-ray, the controller, the games, the release schedule, potential launch problems, online functionality. And they’re good at it. They’ve been very effective at controlling the opinion of the majority of online tech and discussion sites.

    Most of their remarks are completely and obviously ridiculous. They claim that Sony is plagarizing MS’s online functionality? Very recently they said that Sony “had no online strategy” whatsoever. That’s clearly nonsense, but lots of people repeat that and believe it devoutly. The PSP has downloadable game demos and all kinds of extra online functionality; did the 360 imitate that? Did all the PSP online features come from Sony’s complete lack of strategy? Those are completely ridiculous comments and Microsoft knows that; they aren’t trying to convince intelligent, aware people. They have expert manipulators who have proven successful at targeting the young, naive, and impressionable minds that make up the gaming journalists and communities.

  • See, thats what I always said.

    MS tries to spin all those people into thinking the PS3 is bad… MS is scared to shits from the PS3, thats why they say so much crap about something they clearly have no idea about…

  • Henning said:
    2) Are you seriously telling me that with Xbox Live Microsoft invented selling stuff online? Downloadable demos? Chat? Trailers? I don’t think so.

    Nope…that’d be ridiculous. I’m not denying that those functions haven’t been around for ages…what I am saying is that MS is the only and first one to create a seamless, console on-line experience with all of that functionality (heck you can’t even say that about the PC market). “Seamless” is the key word here. With Sony not providing a seamless experience (publishers are in control of their own servers and content – right?)… what kind of on-line experience will the PS3 user have? Oh…and don’t forget about Live Anywhere…You won’t get that with PS3.

    You can’t answer that since Sony hasn’t said bubkiss about anything or demoed “it”.

  • Got me there, McWilliams.

    We’ll have to wait and see what Sony offers.

  • its like every gamesite is bashing sony now!!! check this from the inquirer

  • observer

    The 360 has great online features and while there is nothing fundamentally new, the product has innovated in terms of interface, presentation, integration, and polish. And I’m sure Sony’s people are paying attention and their online offerings will borrow ideas from and be influenced by the 360 along with the other numerous online innovations that have happened since the PS2. That’s the valid portion of MS’s message. However, MS is clearly issuing an attack piece and not trying to make a calm and valid point. Sony’s service is “hazy”? They have absolutely “no online strategy”? Nonsense.

    Didn’t MS’s Forza imitate Gran Turismo (even if it did innovate as well)? Doesn’t MS’s 360 camera device imitate Sony’s EyeToy? Isn’t the announced HD-DVD add-on a direct reactive counter to the PS3? Isn’t Microsoft aggressively buying out or building direct imitations of Sony exclusive games? That’s how this game is being played.

    MS has won the PR battle on tech news and discussion sites everywhere. But if Sony can deliver on what they have announced, I don’t think it will be a close race, PS3 will win by a slaughter.

  • so…..yes sony is copying xbox live. if it’s true, microsoft should be able to say it, ESPECIALLY after sony has spent the last three years saying xbox live isn’t any better than the ps2’s online.

    you don’t have to get your feathers ruffled, just be glad sony is adding what is obviously a necessary feature for a game console. Unlike the “motion controller” a unified online service is a proven concept.

  • Matt

    Exactly Richard.

    I have no problem if Sony copies the entire service of Live. They most likely will and will add their own special things that the PS3 can use. MS was first to recognize that people would be on High-Speed internet and would want other things besides multiplayer. MS has also gotten a lot of feed-back about their service and done everything possible to implement everything that we wanted. The new update to Live is awesome and addresses every problem that I had. Within the next few months more things will pop-up and I will want them fixed. MS plans on releasing an update every six months to correct and add new features to Live.

    I wouldn’t expect Sony to have the service even close to perfect when it launches. Live has had many updates through the years, and the beginning was far from perfect. A live member since February 2002, I know the growing pains that MS went through.

    Sony definately benefits when their major competitor lays out an almost perfect example. Live wasn’t even close to perfect when it launched. Game developers struggled to deliver on games that functioned well online. Now 4 years with the same service is paying off. Developers know how to use the service and add great new features that all work well.

    I still don’t know how Sony cannot charge for their service. With all the costs involved someone has to pay somewhere. MS spent over a billion dollars developing Live into what it is now. How can Sony lose that much money?