Sony talks PlayStation Network

Friday 20 October 2006
At last night's Sony Gamer's Day conference in San Francisco, the PlayStation creator confirmed more details about the PlayStation Network, PS3's online service.

As with PS2's online service, it will operate under an "open platform policy" - which means each game's developer can bring its own features and functionality to online, rather than Microsoft's approach with Live, where Live sets the rules for developers to follow.

Obviously Sony sees this as a good thing but a downside is that moving between different PS3 games online may end up being completely different experiences, compared to the one-Live-fits-all 360 approach. The PlayStation Network will hopefully make it less of a nightmare with a single Gamertag-like profile and the ability to visit the PlayStation Store from within games.

Shopping - for downloadable arcade games, add-ons to full-price games and demos, among other things - will be done with actual money, rather than money converted to 'points', which you'll be able to add to your account with prepaid gift cards or from a credit card.

And Sony maintains that "basic features will be offered absolutely free from day one," although it's still unclear as to which parts of the PlayStation Network count as basic features. Unlike Xbox Live, though, playing games online over the Network will definitely be free, along with web browsing.