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PS3 Online Service -- the details we've wanted for a year

We just know that everyone's been asking "PS3's online service... how's it work?" among other, less kind statements (but still thinking about the same thing). Well, quite a few people have sent in this tidbit of filet-mignon-quality information. Let's start with more general statements, then we'll attack the actual online service and how it works. Let it be known: "the PS3 is designed from the ground up as an online device - unlike the PS2, which suffered from a number of major problems on that front" (but the PS2 service had more active members than XBox Live! Of course, that was from the sheer number of PS2's out there...). Read on, noble warriors, and see the magic that awaits you in November...
  • PS3 has a fully upgradeable OS -- like the PSP, which we'll compare the PS3 to a few more times...
  • In comparison to the PS2's service, now there's a big hard drive, even on the lower end model. That's good.
  • "The PS3 will support multiple user profiles on the console - so when you turn it on, you select your own profile, and you're instantly logged into your own PlayStation Network account as well as activating all your own settings for the system. If you share a console with multiple different people, or if friends come around to play often, this is an incredibly useful feature."
  • Complete web browser! You can even use bookmarks and such. That's handy if you want to, well, browse the web.
  • There is a Master Account and an Associated Account -- Masters can limit the other accounts to the amount of time in the Playstation Store, among other things, probably.
  • It's easy to sign up for an account! Easy is good.
  • Many argued over the "free online" announcement. Let's just quote the article. "Oh - and it's all free, too. The only place you'll be asked to fork over a penny is when you purchase something in the PlayStation Store - all of the online services, from sign-up right through to voice and video chat, are free, as is normal multiplayer gaming." Awesome.
    • In the same vein, "the only things you'll pay money for are paid-for downloadable content, or subscriptions to premium services like massively multiplayer games."
  • Texting is easy and more intuitive than the on-screen keyboard other services may use (like the original Phantasy Star Online for DC). Also, voice and video chat! Hooray! Now when you get fragged by an 8-year old calling you a n00b, you can see the little snot's face and commit it to memory. If you know what we mean.
  • "It's worth noting that the system does show you friend sign-ins and new messages received in overlays on top of the game you're currently playing - just little notification windows which pop up to tell you about something happening with your friends list." Hopefully it can be turned off, too... unless you like random pop-ups while in some sort of intense match. Also, Phil Harrison says an OS update may make it possible to pause a game to check messages and such without signing off of the game... if users desire such an option.
  • The PlayStation Store is your central hub for managing downloads, premium services, shopping... everything. Heck, if you wanted, you could probably put in an internet order for pizza and never, ever leave that seat.
    • The store doesn't use an arbitrary, sneaky "points" system. All is in your local currency.
    • There will also be homebrew titles to check out and download, such as fl0w. You'll also be able to download any "classic" PSX and PS2 titles you may have missed out on... as well as some PSP games.
    • Rumors are that soon enough, you will also be able to download music and movies from the store, what with Sony being a giant in both of those fields.
Goodness gracious... this was just the information we thought was important! Read the article! It's quite refreshing to know that they haven't just tossed something together. This sounds pretty solid and if it's any indicator, the OS updates will just make it better. What do you guys think? This is a viable competitor for the XBox Live, is it not?

[thanks to everyone who sent this in! Also check out Joystiq's take on this info!]

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(Page 2)

21. Hey Zizzy.
Just because you think the Popup messages are "Better"
Does not mean the rest of us do.
I think not having to pay $50 a year is "Better"

Murc, in one year see how hard you are laughing about Microsofts one year jumpstart.

Posted at 3:32PM on Oct 15th 2006 by Scott Krueger. 0 stars

22. cheese
your talking out your ass now. Saint Row has an awesome online component. In fact, if you read any review of the game, its touted as being the best part of the game(its not imo)

I have to agree with most of the sony fanboys. If the playstation hub has low lag multiplayer and an easy interface, it doesnt have to be as good as live because its free. However, I would like to know how sony plans on paying for the huge amount of bandwidth that a Live like service requires. It could easily be a blessing and a curse if you have free multiplayer but you only get one map and one weapon set with additional weapons and maps having to be purchased seperately GTHD style.

Posted at 4:37PM on Oct 15th 2006 by ozymandias 0 stars

23. first things first. im a 360 fanboy. lets get that out the way ok... to all u ps3 fanboys....

u guys keep on usin the free thing as ur only argument. well, xbox live is better at multi-tasking and communicating (hence post # 1)
also, ur guys' service is not completely free. u have to pay for content, which the 360 does too.
however, if u get a xbox live silver account, you can still play maassively multiplayer online games for free, which, on the ps3, you can't. so the cost pretty much evens out. many people think that the ps3's online is free, but they just don't know about the massively multiplayer online games costing money online.

o, and lastly, there is a reason its going to b free. no company is gonna give online for free, unless it...SUCKS. their just rippin you off, makin you fell all happy that it's going to be free, and when u use it, it actually sux.
o ya, and ps3 is making the game companies start their own servers for online games, unlike xbox live, which has one main server that is used by all game companies.

Posted at 5:13PM on Oct 15th 2006 by Jess 0 stars

24. Wow, this really Does look exactly like XBL only less functions...

looks like they can't think of anything themselfs...
Well, I do certeinly hope for the PS3 fanboys that it will be nice :) though I will definatly NOT be buying an PS3...

Posted at 6:23PM on Oct 15th 2006 by Glenn 0 stars

25. This system sounds like it will work essentially like your pc with the added benefit of being able to go online on your 52+" HD television.
Don't underestimate the impact of that!

1. Think being able to stream video/audio(YOUTUBE/Quicktime.com/Vongo...ok Vongo is still kind of lame) instead of download for minutes/hrs(depending on bandwith)the "LIVE" way.

I imagine a day where we can watch HD cable without having to pay $130.00/month(NYC Time Warner monopoly):
PlayStationTV! See point No. 4
...add that municipal WIFI. FREE TV AGAIN!!!

2. The PS-Store will be far more functional than the XBOX marketplace(crappy, text-based interface). Most people online are familiar with the Sony interface since it's basically Sony Itunes. Being HTML based is really awesome.

...also PS-Store is easier to say than "Xbox Live marketplace" ;^)

3. PSP will likely get all these features as well! Think being bored at work or waiting for a friend anywhere on the road and streaming a tune or movie thru your PSP from PS3/PS-Store.

4. Anyone who's watched HD content on their cable service/computer screen already knows how awesome HD movies/TV shows are compared to standard definition. To the point that going back to standard def is physically painful.

HD is like good crack! ;^)

5. User-Driven content!(this one should be No. 1) There's a reason why Google just paid 1.65 Billion dollars for YouTube. Think selling your PS3 online podcast thru PS3. Connecting your content thru a TV instead of a PC is far more watchable to the masses. Not just for the networks anymore. Of course, this means that your show has to not suck. Think hot, teen babes sending you their weekly diaries automatically while wearing nothing but their Victoria Secret undies. Make sure you control the MASTER account. ;^)

These are just some of the benefits that have popped into my head based on the PS3 Network article.

Posted at 7:26PM on Oct 15th 2006 by gordynyc 0 stars

26. Well there are definitely a wide range of opinuions here. I myself am a little hesitant to jump right in and believe everything that Sony says at face value about their online service. But I also am not going to bad mouth it either. I figure wait a few months and see what the masses say. I really would like to wait until Sony has a large install base up and running on the service. Because lets face it, with only somewhere between 500,000 and 2,000,000 machinces their service could seem really fast and really great but when you start getting 10,000,000 plus on their it could bog down real quick.

I honestly hope that Sony service does a few things really REALLY good. First you can play games online and voice chat in game and have a very enjoyable experince, free of lag. Two, Sony just simply provides this feature at a free cost that is good enough for me. Then if Sony can provide DEMOs of games to try before you buy, and extra content to download. Honestly I have had Xbox live since it first came out and I think it is a great service. But I do not use the extra content feautres very often other then downloading a new video game trailer every once and a while.

I am very worried that this free service may either not be well maintained since it is not making any money, or two it is going to be riddled with banners and Sony plugging their movies and music business. This to me would then make the service an unenjoyable experince if my game is lagging out because in the background it is trying to load some huge fash ad of Spider Man 6 to be displayed in the game lobby.

Really I think myself and allot of Xbox Live users are hoping that Sony’s online service does come out strong and present a real challenge to Xbox live. I think it will force Microsoft and Nintendo to keep adding features and making their services better and faster. I am kind of hoping that Microsoft will feel the pressure and reduce the price of Live if not make it free all together.

And to the guy that says that Saints Row is unplayable online, he needs to get his Xbox checked out, or his internet service checked out. Because I play Saints Row at least three times a week online and have a great time.

Posted at 7:33PM on Oct 15th 2006 by Hired.Geek 0 stars

27. eh, well the few times I did play Saint's Row online it was pretty choppy, but it was probably the other players. In either case, on those few occasions it was not working well and it was not working well for my friends either. I'm not saying it's a bad game or anything, but you'd think that paying for XBL, on top of premium broadband, that there would be no such issues. The point I was trying to make was that in many cases it does not matter who makes the system--the experience in online gaming is dictated by the game developers.

Posted at 10:16PM on Oct 15th 2006 by cheese 0 stars

28.
"13. If all is says is true, then while it's lagging behind XBOX Live at this point, it has signs of being just as good or better than Xbox Live. I do own a 360 also, and I really don't think Micosoft has done much with it's online scheme in the last year its been out. It is nice that most of the online multiplayer games are free of charge. If my #6 spot in line at Gamespot is good and their online is adequate, I might not renew my live account, which ironicaly, expires in November.

Posted at 9:08PM on Oct 14th 2006 by kman79 0 stars"



Kman79, it's obvious that you do NOT own a xbox 360. If you really did own one and followed xbox live updates, you will know that microsoft made a lot of improvements and little changes that real xbox live users appreciate. 1080p support is probably the most important update yet because Sony can't use "we are the only true next gen console" argument anymore.

Posted at 4:31AM on Oct 16th 2006 by David 0 stars

29. Free? As bad as it looks it should be free. Free except for downloading content and multiplayer games? woo hoo get to pay to play each game. Microsoft charges because they have a great online service. Say what you want they do it right. Hopefully Sony will copy everything, but it doenst maximize the bottom line so I doubt it. Will be a game company by game company thing like it was last generation agian, how sad. Agian Sony, not thank you.

Posted at 12:50PM on Oct 16th 2006 by Concerned Gamer 0 stars

30. @ Concerned Gamer -- it IS free to play normal multiplayer games. The fee is for MMO's. Say that World of Warcraft was moved onto a console, you'd have to pay the subscription fee still, but there's no added cost by Sony. But Counterstrike matches, etc, are free. Hope that clears that up.

Posted at 1:49PM on Oct 16th 2006 by ndoerr 1 star

31. cheese- The Xbox Live problems with saints row isnt Xbox Lives fault.. its a packet problem that was written in the game.. The developers messed up some coding. From what Ive read there is suppose to be a patch coming out sometime soon ( but who knows ) thats why sometimes youll play a game and everything is 100 percent perfect.. while youll play another game and its completely @ss..

blah and also why would I care to browse the internet on my TV? im usually on both at the same time.. Also I wouldnt want my PS3 to have Cookie problems or Trogans/ Virus getting on my system just because I wanted to browse the web.

I Currently have a xbox360 and will be getting a ps3 on launch. But the one thing that scares me is while the Xbox360 has Xbox Live which is for the most part Hack Proof with no Virus' which you would expect for a paid service.. But will sony be able to have a Safe internet service with no problems or bugs when they for the most part are getting paid by just advertisments...

Posted at 2:04PM on Oct 16th 2006 by xTmDarren 0 stars

32. The only thing I'm hopful about PNP is it's multimedia content. Sure MS isn't in music and movie business.

Posted at 4:24PM on Oct 16th 2006 by Hasan 0 stars

33. If all is says is true, then while it's lagging behind XBOX Live at this point, it has signs of being just as good or better than Xbox Live. I do own a 360 also, and I really don't think Micosoft has done much with it's online scheme in the last year its been out. It is nice that most of the online multiplayer games are free of charge. If my #6 spot in line at Gamespot is good and their online is adequate, I might not renew my live account, which ironicaly, expires in November.

Posted at 9:08PM on Oct 14th 2006 by kman79 0 stars

34. Talkin out Yo rear Jess.

Xbox Live does not Multitask.
The XBox & the PS3 can Multitask.
Live & PS3 Online cannot "MultiTask".
Quit Talkin out Your Pie Hole.

XBox has 3 Processors that can perform Multiple Tasks (MultiTasking)
PS3 has 7 Processors that can perform Multiple Tasks (MulitTasking)

Xbox Live is not that Great. I have it, I Use it. There is nothing that innovative or supreme in XBox Live. The Menus are convoluted and unorganized. Where is this "Greatness" You 360 Fanboys keep talking about. Picking out my OnLine Matches for me is not My Idea of Great. I wish I could wade through endless Matches in a list like I did on My PC. Throwing me into the Match that Bill wants me to play is not my Idea of Great. You only think it is Great, because it helps support your argument.

Go back to your desk at Microsoft and Tell Bill(Gates) ,Yo Boss, that you got Poned at PS3Fanboy. If you or anybody at Microsoft knew anything about gaming you would know what "Poned" means. Since you don't you'll have to google it... Oops I'm sorry you'll get fired for using google there at Microsoft... My Correction... MSN Search for "Poned".

Posted at 8:18PM on Oct 16th 2006 by Scott Krueger. 0 stars

35. i am a sony fan and i dont care.

i don't care about how PS HUB compares to the XBL service because i don't own an xb360 nor am i interested in doing so.

online is important, but a better online experence did not help xbox beat ps2.

for 500,000 consumers on 11.17 i doubt it will be a deal breaker as well.

i think that the most important thing is that it exists, that it covers the basics, and that it works.
both can be upgraded, and both can play the "anything you can do ican do better" game via downloaded updates.

that's why i'm excited about this news. it restores my faith that it does exist period. all the rest,... i simply don't care.
yet.

Posted at 10:15PM on Oct 16th 2006 by alienclay 0 stars

36. Apologies beforehand, but I have a problem with the "PS2 Online has more members than Xbox Live".

That is a mere technicality (as was semi-suggested by the "number of PS2's out there" comment). I'm sure plenty of people signed up for online PS2 gaming, but very few of those people actually use it. I've been on there twice; and it was a waste of time in both instances.

More people play Halo 2 online in a day than play ANYTHING on Sony's pathetic online attempt with the PS2. So pointing out PS2 Online has "more members" is just grasping straws when comparing it to Xbox Live.

Obviously, the PS3 will be a lot different. I think using "real money" instead of points is the biggest praise. It will be nice to actually have a friends list. Those who give a damn about non-game video/movie and music, will be very happy because Sony has their dirty mitts all up ons leaving for a plethora of content.

The browser will be worthless, just like the PSP's and DS's browser. It won't take long to realize that if you want to browse the web, you need to use a PC. No if ands or buts. And those with SDTV's definitely won't be surfing the internet because the resolution will be awful for it. You can actually go to web sites on the PS2 (use the online disc), but it's another waste of time.

The "no cost" solution may not be as great as one would think:

http://suicideninja.blogspot.com/2006/07/free-online-multiplayer-too-much_03.html

I'll definitely take advantage of it while the times are good though.

Posted at 8:20PM on Oct 16th 2006 by SuicideNinja 0 stars

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