PSN eclipsing XBLA for downloadable games?

September 6, 2007

Who would have seen it coming? Xbox Live's supremacy was a given, especially when PS Network launched with widespread doubts over its capabilities - both from consumers who were still sore from PS2's poor online service and from developers who couldn't implement online elements into launch games because Sony hadn't provided them with the tech details. But judging by recent examples, PS Network's looking good. In fact, its downloadable games are arguably much more ambitious than Xbox Live Arcade's.

The best example of Sony's intentions is the just-released, online multiplayer shooter Warhawk. For £20 (or $40)you get whatis essentially afull-price game (it is available in shops for £40 -or $60 in the US -packagedwith a headset, after all) thatlooks great and plays superbly - especially in a busy match. Sure, its success was perhaps too great for the servers to cope with at launch, but the downloadable distribution method for such a full-featured titleis a major leap for console gaming and nothing of the like has yet been seen on Xbox Live, perhaps due to the past restrictions on storage space offered by pre-Elite hard drives.

A similar example would be Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, which is as comprehensive as a full-priced game and only marginally inferior in terms of graphical quality compared with the likes of Virtua Fighter 5, due to its PSP origins.

Above: The superbly playable Warhawk on PS3. So popular its servers needed a little rest