updated 02:20 pm EDT, Fri October 13, 2006
Playstation Network info
Sony's reputation is lacking somewhat when it comes to online play. They may have implemented networks for the PS2 and PSP, but nothing they've done has been as successful as Xbox Live or even the Nintendo DS. That could be changing, says Eurogamer. The site had a chance to get hands-on PS3 experience with Sony's Phil Harrison, and quite a bit of info has been spilled about the PS3 and its operation with the Playstation Network. As we've known, the core interface will resemble the PSP. What you may not know is that the PS3 will support multiple PSN accounts, unlike the 360, which forces you to use a single Xbox Live account. PSN accounts will be further divided into master and associated levels. Most gamers will want to stick with the master level, but parents can use associated accounts to restrict how much a child does online. And speaking of account levels, you can forget about about buying the equivalent of Xbox Live Gold. All features of PSN will be immediately accessible, from Web browsing to multiplayer play. The only items you'll pay extra for are subscriptions to massively multiplayer games, and select downloads from the Playstation Store.
The Store should be considerably easier to browse through than the Xbox Live Marketplace. Content is located through filters, which should means less browsing through categories to find the product you want. Some games will even have their own stores, further narrowing selections. You won't have to bother with something like Microsoft points either; prices will be displayed in local currencies, and you'll simply transfer real-world money to your Wallet(s) before buying anything.
The PS3 further distinguishes itself from the 360 by including support for video chat and USB keyboards out of the box, though we still haven't seen the new EyeToy camera. Another missing accessory is the headset for voice chat - it may be available at launch, but without any promotional material this close to November, it could well ship a few weeks later.