updated 01:40 pm EDT, Tue September 12, 2006
Sony PS3 network and Xfire
To simplify some of the more basic functions in the Playstation Network Platform, Sony has signed a deal to implement Viacom's Xfire matchmaking service. The PC version of Xfire integrates features such as friends, messenging, server browsing, and voice chat. 1UP further reports that the PS3's Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom is already in the supported games list of Xfire's .INI file. It's unclear to what extent the new incarnation of Xfire will resemble the PC's, but based on a past quote from SCE head Ken Kutaragi, it's believed that it will at least be free. "We don't charge for the basic functions of the network like matching services," he once said. "Things like that are taken for granted on a PC, aren't they? There's the feeling of why a game console gets to charge for a service that's normal on a PC. So, we just made the basic services available, and based our business on the contents."
What's more, Sony may be able to leap out of the gate with an equivalent to Live Anywhere, Microsoft's planned attempt at bridging the PC and Xbox Live. The real issue is whether we'll see retail games with cross-platform interaction; currently, Microsoft intends for PC and console gamers to play titles like Shadowrun against one another.