Countering an aggressive challenge by Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Sony is launching a game network to support the launch of Playstation 3 in November.
An industry shift from disc-based to a network-based business has demanded this response says Phil Harrison, president of Sony Computer Entertainment’s Worldwide Studios.
The move could further advance Sony over Microsoft in the battle of advanced game consoles. While Sony just announced a 6 month delay in the release of its console, Microsoft has been aggressively challenging Sony.
The company has been discussing a “PlayStation Network Platform,” similar to that of Xbox live’s. Microsoft already has gained substantial revenue from its subscriptions to Xbox Live while 50% of console owners are subscribers to the Xbox Live program.
Harrison will make his network service free for the time being, saying he believes “open power of the Internet.” Match making, ranking, video and voice chat, presence, a friend list, and content for sale will be included in the network.
As it is, Sony still remains the least aggressive when it comes to online services. Microsoft is by far the leader with Xbox Live and Nintendo follows with Wi-Fi plans for its DS portable game device.