Despite the Xbox 360’s 12 month head start on the PS3 arguably its biggest asset in the console wars was paved by its predecessor: the establishment of a truly powerful online service. Now Sony – rather belatedly – has detailed how it intends to fight back.
‘The PlayStation Network’ may be a rather uninspiring name, but it will offer PS3 owners the chance to browse the web and chat to other owners as well as store images, video and music – all for free. The ability to download games, demos and more will also be available but only for a fee.
No sneak peaks of the PlayStation Network have been offered prior to the service going live on 11 November (the PS3’s Japanese launch) but we have been told it will be heavily influenced by the existing system on the PSP. A ‘Friends’ area will let users see who is online, what games they want to play and engage in instant messaging and is also the portal from where stored media is accessed, either from the web, hard disc or removable flash memory.
Meanwhile a standard $15 price tag has been attached to downloadable games though a customised free version of Opera will provide a rare instance of value for money compared to Nintendo’s Wii where the same software will ultimately have to be paid for.
In addition the PlayStation Network, Sony has also unveiled the 21 launch titles that will greet the console’s release. In (slightly obsessive, compulsive) alphabetical order, the run down is as follows:
*Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII
*Call of Duty 3
*The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
*Fight Night Round 3
*Full Auto 2: Battlelines
*Genji: Days of the Blade
*Madden NFL 07
*Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
*Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire
*NBA 07 (Sony)
*NBA 2K7 (2K Sports)
*Need For Speed Carbon
*NHL 2K7 (2K Sports)
*Resistance: Fall of Man
*Ridge Racer 7
*Sonic the Hedgehog
*Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07
*Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas
*Tony Hawk's Project 8
*Untold Legends Dark Kingdom
All will be naturally be released on Blu-ray with Resistance and Genji expected to steal the headlines and COD3, Elder Scrolls, Ridge Racer and Sonic likely to add a strong supporting cast.
Still, with the big launch days for Japanese and Americans just around the corner we Europeans might as well go back to sleep.