Live and direct
Our sister site, Next Generation, has uncovered information about the PS3's networking capabilities. Its three Ethernet jacks and Wi-Fi capaibilities out of the box obviously mean the thing is meant to play online. But according to Next Gen, Sony plans to launch a service called PlayStation HUB. In this news story, it reports that "PlayStation HUB will offer PlayStation 3 owners much the same services as Xbox Live, including chat, downloadable demos, independent games and online play. The service is also designed to support PSP online play as well as PS3 ... PlayStation HUB is being described to developers as a 'subscriber service' suggesting a monthly charge." According to Next Gen, Sony will offer music and movies over the service as well as game content.
Above: PlayStation HUB will let you play online games like Unreal Tournament 2007.
Why should I care? Everyone who's played Xbox Live knows that it pretty much totally smoked the PS2's awkward and inconsistent online service. Xbox 360's version of Live is even better than the original system's. Having one convenient place to grab games, demos, media, and a simple way to get online with games is essential, and PlayStation HUB should deliver it. With this, the PS3 gets the last piece of the puzzle.