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RakNet and PSN: PlayStation Network’s Possible Secret Weapon?

It’s no surprise that XBox Live is, by and large, the favorite of console multiplayer gaming because of the capabilities and functions that come along with the service. Well, apparently, RakNet has now become available for the PlayStation Network services. As for what RakNet is:

Raknet is a cross-platform C++ game networking engine. It is designed to be a high performance, easy to integrate, and complete solution for games and other applications.

From the source, former Technical Director at Sony Online Entertainment, Jason King, stated:

We developed JEOPARDY! and Wheel of Fortune for the Playstation® Network. We budgeted a substantial amount towards network integration, but RakNet dramatically reduced the cost. Support was excellent. Since the two games’ releases, both JEOPARDY! and Wheel of Fortune have had flawless network performance.

Yeah, not two of the best games, for sure, but this could be something Sony could potentially integrate into a universal system on the next generation of consoles. Work with RakNet on building universal network code that can be implemented into all games? Could be a possibility, and could put PlayStation Network in direct competition with Live.

As for studios besides Sony Online Entertainment to use their products? Maxis Entertainment, Epic Games China, Foundation 9 Entertainment, and Codemasters. At the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco next month, they will be demoing their product running on the PS3/PSN at booth number 844.

Anyone else thinking maybe this might be the start of a partnership that could result in a universal online network akin to Live (possibly on PS4)? We’ll know in time, but until then, this is still technically a third party application. Only thing is, if this does create such a partnership, it will most likely cost money so RakNet will get some royalties. Only thing I hope for, if that becomes the case, is that it’s got a free service, as well as a subscription service, with the subscription service being per console as opposed to per ID like Live.

EDIT: Let me rephrase that last sentence: …with the subscription service being per master account, with the services being available to subaccounts registered under the master account, as opposed to per ID like Live.

In order to make this work, and be able to log in on different consoles, and without cheating the system, the Master Account could be limited to 4 sub accounts and the sub accounts must be done on the registered console. They will still be able to use the service at, say, a friend’s house (both master and sub; log in as a guest basically), but can’t register the master account, or sub accounts, to other consoles. If a console fails, all saves should be registered with the Master Account (this will also allow for the ability to load saved games at a friend’s house BTW). There should also be provisions to easily transfer master account details and services (like being able to create sub accounts, etc) to the new console, but such privileges will only be available on one console at a time.

Hopefully I didn’t confuse anyone with that haha.

You can read more info about RakNet here.