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PlayStation Network Details 80

Gamasutra has details on the gaming network that will underpin the PlayStation 3 online offering. From the article: "Co-developed by Sony Online Entertainment, the company's MMORPG development arm, and GameSpy Networks, 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." The folks on the 1up podcast were just talking about this topic last week. I'm personally not sure 'free' is the way to go. I'm willing to pay if it means I'm getting a quality service. Obviously you'd prefer not to pay but if it means the difference between an unreliable service and one the quality of Xbox Live, are you willing to pay?
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PlayStation Network Details

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  • SOE Warning (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Thursday March 16, 2006 @08:23AM (#14932084) Journal
    "Co-developed by Sony Online Entertainment, the company's MMORPG development arm, and GameSpy Networks, the PlayStation Network Platform will allow players to compete online even in its free iteration, unlike Xbox Live.
    For those of you with an XBox 360 who aren't in the MMORPG realm, Sony Online Entertainment [sony.com] (SOE) is the same team that brought you EverCrack, Star Wars Galaxies: A Fanbase Divided and The Matrix: Lagging Online.

    This is just ample warning that you may experience one or more of the following symptoms when using the Playstation Network:
    • An unlimited number of expansion packs you need to buy, each more expensive than the last.
    • A development team that actually reads through customer suggestions so they can figure out what not to do. They then implement the opposite of what everyone on the forums wants. When the product fails, they'll blame the original concept creators.
    • The death of your best NPC friend just because he was getting a little weird and creeping everyone out.

    I honestly hope that this Playstation network thing is done right. But then again ... it's probably just going to be a system by which Sony can get the FR (first rootkit) on your new PS. Especially if you've managed to run Linux on it.
    • by gormanly ( 134067 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @08:27AM (#14932116)
      Wow, Sony-bashing in the OP and the FP - is this MS-fanboy day?
    • ...(SOE) is the same team that brought you ... The Matrix: ... Online.

      Incorrect.
    • >(SOE) is the same team that brought you The Matrix: Lagging Online.

      they only host the matrix, they did not develop it. SOE's hosting is pretty good so i'm not sure that's the cause of any unusual amount of lag in the game (i havent played the game so i wouldn't know)
      • Re:SOE Warning (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        OE's hosting is pretty good so i'm not sure that's the cause of any unusual amount of lag in the game (i havent played the game so i wouldn't know)

        Actually, SOE's hosting sux cox. They recently had a problem where all SWG players were running into massive latency, to the point of the game being unplayable. Their initial and repeated response was "It's not our fault". It took like 2 months for them to grudgingly agree to look into it. I stopped following it a while ago, but last I checked it was never res
    • This was not made by their game teams, so comparing this to their games is not relevant.

      A more accurate comparison would be to look at something like EQ2 Players [sony.com] which tracks stats for players and guilds (both serverwide and worldwide). It keeps track of ranks, who's done what first, items, etc. It even provides templates and assets for, and hosts, guild websites and forums.

      I think the weakness of the PS3 system is the freedom for individual games to host their own servers and set their own rules. On
  • Free (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @08:26AM (#14932107)
    if it means the difference between an unreliable service and one the quality of Xbox Live, are you willing to pay?

    IF? Why don't you wait to see what happens and then decide?

    If paying works out better overall, people will be willing to pay. If it works out worse, they won't. WTF is the big mystery? We'll know the future when it happens.

    • My thoughts exactly.

      The commentary suggests that a free service is inherently inferior to a paid one. By this logic, OSS is crap! There are very few readers of this forum who would make this claim about free software, so why don't we wait and see what Sony's free online service is like?

      I realize Sony is not the most beloved of corporations right now, but this predictive ranting grows tiresome.
      • And free only denotes cost to the user at the end of the process. There are other ways to recoup the money. Increase the price of online-capable games by a percentage, or lower the payouts to developers, or higher licensing fees, or even sacrifice a chunk of profit in exchange for market penetration.

        Who knows. But it certainly won't be "free".
    • Re:Free (Score:3, Insightful)

      If publishers want their online game to be popular, and sell well, they will provide an adequate service. The idea that the price barrier between bad service and excellent service is a chasm is absurd.
      • It is, and it isn't. $50 a year is not that much but it cuts out a lot of budget gamers, to whom that might be two (or more) games.

        Then again, budget gamers aren't the ones buying PS3s this year (or maybe even next) so it's of no practical importance to argue this.
        • well you awnsered it in your second line

          after getting the PS2 I had 0 intention of ever playing online, I only got the online adapter to get codes for my Action Replay Max (which was a major waste of money) in the time I got the network adapter till I got a slimline PS2 I played a grand total of 7 games online and this is over the course of about 4/5 years, now I've played almost 300 other games on the PS2 but only 7 online (either because it was worth playing online or my friends had it) now would I of
    • Yeah, I'm not aware of any of the services listed being particularly undependable. Internet matchmaking is cheap. There might be ads though.
    • Considering the only service offered by Xbox Live for $50 is matchmaking, a free system isn't so hard to fathom. You can pay all you want but it won't improve your latency, you're connected to one of the players, not xbox live.
  • yes (Score:1, Redundant)

    by poeidon1 ( 767457 )
    but where is the playstation 3?
  • Great analysys, 1up! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cluke ( 30394 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @08:44AM (#14932220)
    What the hell is the world coming to, when you announce something is going to be free, and people start whining that they want to pay for it? Big business has us well trained.
    Maybe in some parallel universe where paying for something improves the quality of it, but here in the real world comapnies just do the minimum they need to muddle through, fee or no fee.
    • This may be some company's mentality, Sony being one of them, but really successful companies are those that balance quality with profit.

      In a competitive market, you can sell the bare minimum and pull a profit. But say, add 200 man hours extra, add a few new creative feature, make it look appealing, and you will reap the benefits.

      This is the reason Sony is barley pulling a profit based on their size, they are minimalists.

      I'll give you a great example of paying for something makes it better. Free to air TV i
      • Another way to look at paying for a service as a positive is the income source. Without the income from subscription, another income stream would be required.

        But they do have another income stream, a massive one: license fees and royalties from sold games.

        Don't get me wrong, all things being equal I think they would charge for it. But this is a way to stick it to Microsoft - why pay $x per year on XBox360 when you can get it for free on PS3? Therefore I think it is entirely possible that their service will
      • Free to air TV isn't as good as Cable, and you pay for cable.

        Good point. I noticed that VH1 comes in much more fuzzy when the cable is unplugged.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      People (often) assume that a company is forced to charge them to offer a service because it would be too costly to provide a similar service for free; this is obviously false. The truth is that depending on how a company decides to implement the service is what determines what charges are required.

      XBox live is a very closed service where all of the servers are hosted by Microsoft and all communication is transmitted from an individual client to the server (or vice versa) including all game data as well as v
      • XBox live is a very closed service where all of the servers are hosted by Microsoft and all communication is transmitted from an individual client to the server (or vice versa) including all game data as well as voice communication; this means that Microsoft has to host tons of servers (for every game available on XBox Live) each having adequate bandwith for the users; (add on top of this massive data storage to hold all types of stats on a persons game history and movie preferences and favourite ice-cream
      • I will second the other poster. You don't know much about live. A majority of the games are player hosted, which can be good or bad. In Halo 2, when you join a Matchmaking game, it will pick 8 (or 16 depending on the type of game) players also waiting for a Matchmaking game and decide who has the best connection and assign that person as host. Over time, they have built a database of people with good connections and they are more likely to be selected as host in the future. OTOH, Call of Duty 2 has the
    • But a company that charges nothing has nothing to lose for creating a terrible service.
  • Free vs. Pay (Score:2, Interesting)

    by matr0x_x ( 919985 )
    It's a tough debate. I like many would prefer to pay for a good service then receive a sub-par service for free. However, I'd also rather receive a crappy service for free then pay for it. Do you think the Playstation network will be good if it is subscription based? Then I for one don't mind paying for it...
    • So the big question is, just how crappy is it going to be? ;0)
    • The thing I dislike about Pay as per X-Box Live is that if you want to play online, even with just a couple friends, you have to pay for their service. If there were both free and pay options that allowed you to play online (with all the matching services I don't use on the pay) I would be happy. But for people like myself that prefer mostly single player with occasional online games against people we know, being forced to pay to play online is annoying.
  • Nintendos service is free. yes there is no voice chat during games. Metroid prime hunters has voice chat before and after the games. ITs an awesome service. Not all games use friend codes.Mario kart just assigns people to the game and it starts. If sony could even be remotely close to this then there shouldnt be a problem. Also Nintendo uses gamespy too.
    • The Nintendo service is...awful. I can't choose to play with someone on my friends list. If 4 of us want to play together online, we'll just have to search at the same time, hope to God it gets all 4 of us (most of the time it'll only catch 3), and that no one else in any of our friends list is searching at the same time. Its taken me and my friends over half an hour to get into a game, only for it to drop one of us halfway through. Lovely.
    • Animal crossing uses friend codes only so random people dont mess up your town but every other game supports friendcodes and random matchups (mario kart has rivals (people with a similar win/loss record), friends, regional and worldwide player matching options) also MPH will have a lot more ways to find oppenents.
  • The released information on the PlayStation Network Platform, states that a portion of the online service will be free, but not what portion. It may well be that it is just like xbox live, where you get everything but online play for free. Or, they might even charge for the voice chat (voip) and video chat. At this time, we don't know if you will be able to play for free. So the article is false at this time. On another note, what the hell is with the name. Talk about crappy branding. Playstation Network
    • Re:Unture (Score:3, Funny)

      by MrCopilot ( 871878 )
      On another note, what the hell is with the name. Talk about crappy branding. Playstation Network Platform.

      PNP yo, its like a nut you play with in your house.

    • YOU:The released information on the PlayStation Network Platform, states that a portion of the online service will be free, but not what portion. It may well be that it is just like xbox live, where you get everything but online play for free.

      Umm...

      FROM THE BLURB, NOT EVEN TFA:...the PlayStation Network Platform will allow players to compete online even in its free iteration...
    • Nothing about the word 'live' has anything to do with network connectivity.
      Back when X-Box Live was first revealed, I understood that it was an x-box network of sorts, but I'm a nerd (I'm here, aren't I?).
      I'd guess anyone outside of the gaming circle could've thought it was any number of things.
      Playstation Network Platform doesn't have much of a ring to it, but it clearly and obviously states what it is.
      It is the network platform for the Playstation console. Simple enough.
  • With these new Next-gen sytems coming out their prices have taken a huge hike. $300-$400 for an Xbox360, estimated $500 for the PS3, granted the revolution is making a statement with their system estimated to go for $150 starting. However, there are many cross platform games. As a game developer unless you are getting huge incentives from Microsoft or Sony it only makes sense to build your game cross platform. A lot of games even have PC versions. With that said, we are starting to segment the multipla
    • Microsoft has said it is possible to play over xbox live with a PC, but no developer has yet chosen to use it. They said it was a necessary feature for the japanese market, especially for MMOs, but with the lack of MMOs, the feature has yet to the see the light of day.
      • I don't think there should ever be cross platform multiplayer, sure it segments things, but for good reason. Balance would be impossible in most genres. If i am on a PC, I am going to aim/move/play better or more accurately then someone with an XBox controller, using an optical mouse is faster then an analog stick. sure you can use an xbox controller in you computer with an adapter but no one i know has even considered doing this for anything but fighting games.
        • I agree balance is an issue you would have to address. But I think it could be done fairly easily. I would agree with first person shooters using a controller vs keyboard/mouse combo the keyboard/mouse will win. However all that needs to be done is support a keyboard/mouse setup in the FPS games. I know both the PS2 and the XBox 360 support USB Keyboards, and the same can be done with mouse as well. So there the playing field evens, if the player is willing to spend the extra money in doing that (~$50)
          • I agree with everything you've said there, and it's got me thinking about an increasingly thin line between "console" and "personal computer"

            -the xbox 360 has capabilites as a media center pc and can play movies.

            -one of the big pushes in the PS3 seems to be it's abilities as a blu-ray disc player.

            -Consoles also have increasing capabilites online, I wouldn't be surpriesd to see a web browser realeased to the next gen consoles, the PSP has one and i think the PS2 had on that had limited popular appe
            • Yeah I definately can see that happening, also with the capabilities of the Xbox Live system, Instant Messaging/Voice chat is starting to become mainstream in and out of games. I could see consoles becoming a good way to keep in touch with your friends online or at least your gaming friends. The new 360 Xbox Live is becoming sort of a myspace for gamers. They have online profiles, it keeps track of awards and "high scores", and others can view your profile. You have a friends list and everything. The d
        • I'll challenge that. . .

          I've been both an avid PC and Xbox gamer for quite some time and I'm starting to see my newfangled controller skills creep up on my well established mouse/keyboard skills.

          I mean, sure the controller is cumbersome but with a little training I think it can be just as good as mouse/keyboard in the right situation.
          I won't deny the fact that mouse/keyboard can out snipe a controller, but in CQB I bet a controller could whup some ass.
        • there will always be similar balance issues. case in point: if you have a precision optical mouse, chances are you will aim better and easier than a gamer using the standard clunky ps2 roller mouse that came with his dell.

          if you have a t1 line and a souped up gaming pc, you are more likely to be more responsive and appear to have better reflexes than a player playing on a shared dsl line and getting 15-30 frames per second on his two year old pc.

          same in the console world. connection speed /does/ matter for
    • Actually, as a game developer I'd be strongly tempted to keep developing for PS2.

      Think about it. You know the toolset, you know the tricks. It has 62% of the total market, an enormous installed base. The graphics capabilities are impressive enough--think Ico, Burnout Revenge, Jak & Daxter, and remember that cutting edge next generation graphics are likely too expensive for you to develop anyway. There are existing libraries and engines you can license. And when the PS3 starts to sell, all the games will
    • given SOE's already large market of MMOs, i doubt that they would make the ps3 network incompatible with their larger franchises. i highly doubt it. if they spin it right they will probably use the ps3 to prop up some of their dwindling MMO franchises like star wars galaxies.

      with ffxi square/ sony opted to allow pc and ps2 players to co-habitate, if the developer wishes to run their own server, why would sony outlaw an already accepted practice on their part?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    How much is Sony paying Slashdot to keep their terminally delayed console in the Games section?! Just stop with the PS3 stories already! We know, Sony has a competitor to the XBox360 that was supposed to be released in a few months and has been delayed.

    All these PS3 stories are just Sony propoganda to ensure that potential XBox360 customers will remember that "oh yeah, PS3 is coming" and wait for the PS3 instead of getting the next-gen console that *actually exists*.

    Why don't we see Revolution stories eve
  • Overseas (Score:1, Interesting)

    by n3tcat ( 664243 )
    Being stationed in Germany, without any stateside addresses to reference, I'm stuck without Live, as they don't take overseas billing addresses. Or at least didn't several months ago before I got sent to the litter box.

    If they can workout online entertainment that works regardless of location, I'm all for it, pay or no. If I can sit here in my tent and hook my PS3 into the net and game back with the states, more power to them. If not, then it doesn't really make much difference to me since I won't be back i
    • I've got a friend in New Zealand who imported a 360, and I've played against him on Live.
    • You don't need a credit card for Live. Buy a prepaid card from a store (they're probably even available in German stores) and use that.
  • With XboxLive as a main selling point of the 360 I'm suprised Sony didn't just mimic every aspect of the system.

    With a free system can you:
    1) Download 500mb-1g demos
    2) Download HighDef movie trailors
    3) Send Voice/Text messages
    4) Videoconference
    5) Have a 'friends' list with friend leaderboards?

    This sounds like what PS2 had - basically just a network connection and then each Developer could do whatever they wanted. Since they have to build most of the online system from the ground-up it makes each
  • The article is talking about the "free iteration", so presumably there is also some "non-free iteration" that would have more premium services, if one so desired
  • If the Live market place keeps doing as well as it is now I can see MS making it free to play games on live and the Market Place downloads paying for the upkeep.
  • I'm personally not sure 'free' is the way to go. I'm willing to pay if it means I'm getting a quality service. Obviously you'd prefer not to pay but if it means the difference between an unreliable service and one the quality of Xbox Live, are you willing to pay?

    Your statement is what leads businesses to exploit people for as much profit as possible.

    First of all, most of these games are going to be peer-to-peer, so they only need a simple match-making service. Blizzard has shown with Battle.net (wc2, w

  • The problem with a totally free service is that there is no accountability.
    In other words, when there is a fee (even small), it makes it way harder for griefers and cheaters to hide behind anonymity.

    A great feature of XBox Live is that user profile is unique accross all the games and hard to alter.
    Things turned sour on XBox Live when cheaters started using free 1 month trials to create disposable temporary accounts (and pretty much ruin Halo2 MP for everyone else).
  • by Trogre ( 513942 ) on Thursday March 16, 2006 @04:32PM (#14936900) Homepage
    I'm personally not sure 'free' is the way to go. I'm willing to pay if it means I'm getting a quality service. Obviously you'd prefer not to pay but if it means the difference between an unreliable service and one the quality of Xbox Live, are you willing to pay?

    Well, any lingering hope that Zonk might not be a Microsoft shill just flushed noisily down the gurgler.

    So Sony is now doing bad for offering a service for free huh? Talk about damned if you do...

    Why not just ask "if paying money means the difference between an unreliable operating system and one the quality of Windows, are you willing to pay?"

  • Co-developed by Sony Online Entertainment, the company's MMORPG development arm, and GameSpy Networks

    Well, now we know HUB is going to suck ... and IGN will rave about it as if it were the second coming.
  • Unless you can pull fiber into the home, it all goes over the public internet. A more robust VPN protocol perhaps? Not likely.
  • The thing I find most interesting is that Gamespy is helping to develop the Playstation network. Gamespy also helped develop the Nintendo WiFi network the DS & Revolution are/will be using.

    The "weaknesses" in the DS WiFi network are design choices on Nintendo's part, and may be different for the Revolution. With the services being developed by the same partners, and Sony looking to emulate Xbox Live (the only one developed without Gamespy's input it seems), it will be interesting to see how differen

  • I'm not sure about cost meaning that the product or the quality of service being directly linked. I've payed for service from several companies for this quality and have still been berated by idiots who "pay to do this". I don't think its a matter of price = quality. Its more of a game balance and development limitations. Some how I don't think that games like Tony Hawk and Burnout will be so much better if you pay to play them online. My 2 cents and that's bout all I would pay for a console based serv

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