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PS3 Online - Free Player vs Player

Details are emerging from the online fog. Not only did Mr. Ken give some online details on Wednesday, further details came later. Like this:

the PlayStation Network Platform will allow players to compete online even in its free iteration, unlike Xbox Live. Sony will enforce integrated online capabilities between games, but publishers will be free to run their own servers.

It is interesting to note that the free version of Sony’s online service for the PS3 will include the ability to play against other players. This is something that Microsoft’s free version of Xbox Live lacks. And personally it’s something I really appreciate. I’m not into paying monthly fees, and I’m not a big online player. But if it’s free, I’ll certainly give it a try.

On the gameplay and communication side, according to the company, the system will include lobbies and matchmaking, ranked scores, content uploads and downloads, unique avatars, friends lists, voice and video chat, and instant messaging

This sounds like a nice full list. But I don’t see downloadable movie trailers or game demos there. Oh wait! Here maybe:

there will be in-game shops, premium content downloads, and some vaguer capabilities such as subscriptions, item-by-item sales, micropayments, and “entitlement management”. It is unclear as of yet whether Xbox Live Arcade-style casual titles or even legacy titles will be a major part of Sony’s tactics, although the PlayStation Network Platform is believed to allow downloads of game executables which will then be playable.

Hmmmm. Rather vague. Maybe, maybe not.

Gamasutra – PlayStation 3 Network Platform Details Revealed

Here are some more details from Gamespot:

The full list of planned services for the PlayStation Network Platform is as follows:

Account created through user registration
Game data upload/download
Presence/Friend List/Avatar
Voice/Video Chat

Shops (can be accessed from inside games)
Content Download
Game boot from HDD
Selling item by item
Entitlement Management

User Registration
Login ID/Handlename issue

SCE will be providing system developer kits to publishers that plan on developing games that use the PlayStation Network Platform. The kits will be distributed at the end of this month.

SDK Delivery Schedule
March: Dev. server/client SDK 1st release
April: Dev. server/client SDK 2nd release
June: Full functions completed on dev. server
July: Full function test starts for licensees
September: Production environment available

Gamespot – PlayStation Network Platform detailed