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?