Sony has apparently decided not to take on Xbox Live with an umbrella online service for the PlayStation 3.
The Official Playstation Magazine reported that Sony has elected not to use a central online gaming service for its upcoming PS3 console. Instead of using a unified system like Microsoft’s Xbox Live or Nintendo’s soon-to-be-launched Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, Sony is taking the same path as it did with the PS2. This means that it will be up to publishers themselves to provide players with online features and, likewise, for the players to have a separate account for each publisher in order to play online.
Live is widely regarded as one of the most attractive features of the current Xbox, and Microsoft seems intent on improving the online experience for the Xbox 360 by adding a marketplace where users can purchase additional content, improved matchmaking, and video chat. The effort that has been put into the TrueSkill matchmaking system alone is staggering. Developers working on PlayStation 3 titles will, however, be free to create online services of their own without having to worry about conforming to the standards of an umbrella service.