Images and details of PlayStation 3's downloadable games have shed light on Sony's plans for its own Xbox Live Arcade-style online service.
Games such as fizzy-looking shooter Blast Factor, sub-aqua micro-pet sim Flow, Lemmings 2, Go! Sudoku, PSP racer GripShift and a Wheel of Fortune game look to be in the works, many with tilt-sensing SIXAXIS controls.
Blast Factor zips you down into microscopic cells for some Mutant Storm-style twitch-gaming action, with you shaking the SIXAXIS controller from side to side to move enemies around. Flow is an aquatic drifting adventure that sees you guiding a minute organism through a "surreal biosphere," using the SIXAXIS pad to flit and glide your way around.
Sony continues to talk in extended metaphors and twisted theories about its online service, most likely because concrete details like pricing of games like these and other downloads have yet to be finalized. We do know, though, that online gaming will be totally free, there will be a web browser and shop/downloads section, and online payments will be made with real money rather than 'points'.
But it's positive to see an array of downloadable titles available for launch, with many more to follow. We'll be hunting down some straight, non-tortuous answers to all the big questions - like account services, gamer tags and whatnot - so we'll be back with the details as soon as we pry them from Sony mouthpieces.
October 18, 2006