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Author Topic: PS3 Online Service - more details  (Read 1310 times)
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Ralph-Wiggum
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« on: October 13, 2006, 08:45:05 PM »

Cross-posted at OO:

I saw this article listed at Qt3. Here are a couple of the main points (IMO, of course):

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User Profiles works pretty much how you would expect it to, with a list of the different profiles stored on the console popping up in the vertical bar when this option is highlighted. Yes, this is old hat if you're an Xbox 360 user, but 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.

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Unlike the Xbox 360, PS3 has a fully functional web browser, which according to Harrison supports a wide variety of standards right up to the complex Web 2.0 stuff you find places like Gmail using - and you can access any site on the Internet through the browser.

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Sending emails through the system uses the same peculiar text messaging style keypad that users of the PSP will be familiar with, which seems a bit painful at first but rapidly becomes a much faster way of entering text than the on-screen keyboards used by other systems - however, if you're not really keen on using that to enter an entire message, you can always plug in any standard USB keyboard, which will work with any text entry field anywhere on the system, as well as with the web browser.

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Again, those familiar with Xbox Live on the Xbox 360 won't find this terribly surprising, but 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. At present, however, there's no system for actually reading or responding to messages while you're still in the game, as the operating system doesn't take resources away from games in order to do that - however, according to Harrison, that functionality may well appear in an OS update, presumably based on whether users actually express a desire for it or not.

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We're not going to talk in much depth about PlayStation Store, because what we saw was still undoubtedly being worked on frantically to prepare for the November launch. However, there are a few elements that it's worth talking about - the first of which is the Wallet, which lies at the heart of how you buy things on the Store. Unlike Nintendo and Microsoft's offerings, Sony doesn't hide the price of items behind an arbitrary "points" scheme - instead, everything simply lists a price in your local currency, so European types will see a Euro price, British people will see prices in Pounds Sterling, and so on. ... Crucially, the Wallet is used for everything on the system - even for MMOG subscriptions to third parties. If it's on the PlayStation Network, you pay for it via Sony and the transaction with the third party is worked out elsewhere - so you're not expected to give credit card details out willy-nilly to everyone with content or services on the PS3.

And of course:

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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. There's no equivalent of the Xbox Live Gold account, where you're expected to pay extra for a further tier of services - the only things you'll pay money for are paid-for downloadable content, or subscriptions to premium services like massively multiplayer games.

It all sounds pretty good. Of course, sounding good and working well are two different matters.
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Knightshade Dragon
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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2006, 09:09:31 PM »

I'll be interested to see how cohesive the online component is.  Live is great at really tying the community together on a single playing field.  Sony didn't do a great job with that last go-round. 
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gellar
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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2006, 09:18:22 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on October 13, 2006, 09:09:31 PM

I'll be interested to see how cohesive the online component is.  Live is great at really tying the community together on a single playing field.  Sony didn't do a great job with that last go-round. 

Did they even really try the last time though?

I agree with Ralph... sounds cool in theory, but we'll have to wait and see if they cock it up in practice.

gellar
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papasmurff
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2006, 09:49:31 PM »

Well, I am interested to see what MS does with the live service after this comes out.  I wonder if they will make live free and or with this new update that happens next tuesday, what Cool things they will add.

My only responces to the sony live is, ok it is free and it should be if I payed 600 for the system (which I won't buy) and I like being able to check messages in game so it is bad that they can't do that.

Other than that, I think that it would be cool if MS added a web brower to the system.  I think that is the only thing I like on the PS3 
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Jumangi
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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2006, 10:07:02 PM »

Quote from: papasmurff on October 13, 2006, 09:49:31 PM

Well, I am interested to see what MS does with the live service after this comes out.  I wonder if they will make live free and or with this new update that happens next tuesday, what Cool things they will add.

If Sony can actually deliver then I don't see how they would have much of a choice. They would be getting ragged on all the time about charging for wha the others are offering free. But its still an if about Sony's service since its still just talk and hasn't shown it all works yet out "in the wilds" of consumer land.
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AgtFox
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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2006, 10:22:30 PM »

The one thing people tend to forget when the free PS3 online vs. $50 Xbox 360 online component debate is brought up:  Sony will have the developers/publishers setting up and running the servers (and taking possible monthly fees to keep said servers up, MMO or not) that the game plays off of.  Microsoft sets up and runs the servers all the games run off of through Live.  If Sony were to take everything internally like Microsoft has with its online component, then the free vs. $50 debate can actually be fought.

I added that bold because it seems to get lost in the translation that the developer/publisher has every right to ask for a monthly fee to keep online going for a particular game on the PS3.  It probably won't happen with big publishers until it becomes obvious that the loss of money to continually run the servers far outweighs everything else.
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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2006, 10:36:32 PM »

Quote from: AgtFox on October 13, 2006, 10:22:30 PM

The one thing people tend to forget when the free PS3 online vs. $50 Xbox 360 online component debate is brought up:  Sony will have the developers/publishers setting up and running the servers (and taking possible monthly fees to keep said servers up, MMO or not) that the game plays off of.  Microsoft sets up and runs the servers all the games run off of through Live.  If Sony were to take everything internally like Microsoft has with its online component, then the free vs. $50 debate can actually be fought.

I added that bold because it seems to get lost in the translation that the developer/publisher has every right to ask for a monthly fee to keep online going for a particular game on the PS3.  It probably won't happen with big publishers until it becomes obvious that the loss of money to continually run the servers far outweighs everything else.

Also alot of the games you could play online with the ps2 for free were laggy as hell.
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Darren8r
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2006, 11:35:00 PM »

Quote from: papasmurff on October 13, 2006, 09:49:31 PM

Well, I am interested to see what MS does with the live service after this comes out.  I wonder if they will make live free and or with this new update that happens next tuesday, what Cool things they will add.

Not a chance, M$ is making to much $$$ from that service.
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« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2006, 12:17:36 AM »

Quote from: Darren8r on October 13, 2006, 11:35:00 PM

Quote from: papasmurff on October 13, 2006, 09:49:31 PM

Well, I am interested to see what MS does with the live service after this comes out.  I wonder if they will make live free and or with this new update that happens next tuesday, what Cool things they will add.

Not a chance, M$ is making to much $$$ from that service.

Really? I don't know about that.  I mean that only amounts to $4 per month per user.  They're basically providing the same service as companies like Blizzard who charge $15 per month.  I can't imagine that Online service is their bread and butter.
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wonderpug
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« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2006, 01:03:11 AM »

Quote from: Canuck on October 14, 2006, 12:17:36 AM

Quote from: Darren8r on October 13, 2006, 11:35:00 PM

Quote from: papasmurff on October 13, 2006, 09:49:31 PM

Well, I am interested to see what MS does with the live service after this comes out.  I wonder if they will make live free and or with this new update that happens next tuesday, what Cool things they will add.

Not a chance, M$ is making to much $$$ from that service.

Really? I don't know about that.  I mean that only amounts to $4 per month per user.  They're basically providing the same service as companies like Blizzard who charge $15 per month.  I can't imagine that Online service is their bread and butter.

In July Microsoft announced it had 2 million subscribers.  At $4/month, that's $8 million coming in each month, or $96 million a year.
$96,000,000 yearly gross isn't too shabby, and that's only for the number of subscribers they had 3 months ago.

I have seen the future, and the future is microtransactions.
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corruptrelic
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« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2006, 12:13:15 PM »

wonderpug, that data is from july of last year! I'm sure that number is a lot higher than that now.

Microsoft is definitely pulling in some heavy money from Live no doubt, woudn't call it their "bread and butter" but certainly a good chunk of change for them each year. As long as people continue to pay to play and they always get new subscribers instead of losing them, why would they even consider offering live for free? Even if the PS3 online is 100% free (other than microtransactions), it doesn't effect Live at all if people are willing to keep paying for it.

I like the sound of the fully functioning web browser in the PS3, but other than that, nothing there is making me want to go camp out in the hot florida heat and humidity and spend an entire check getting one. I can wait.
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wonderpug
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« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2006, 01:20:39 PM »

Quote from: corruptrelic on October 14, 2006, 12:13:15 PM

wonderpug, that data is from july of last year! I'm sure that number is a lot higher than that now.
Holy shit!
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The Grue
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« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2006, 01:22:17 PM »

Quote from: corruptrelic on October 14, 2006, 12:13:15 PM

wonderpug, that data is from july of last year! I'm sure that number is a lot higher than that now.

Microsoft is definitely pulling in some heavy money from Live no doubt, woudn't call it their "bread and butter" but certainly a good chunk of change for them each year. As long as people continue to pay to play and they always get new subscribers instead of losing them, why would they even consider offering live for free? Even if the PS3 online is 100% free (other than microtransactions), it doesn't effect Live at all if people are willing to keep paying for it.

But, what if people start choosing the PS3 over the 360 and one of the reasons is because of free online multiplayer?  Sure, they get money from their exisisting customers, but they don't get new ones.  Then, what if people who have both systems cancel Live because they perceive that they are being ripped off because they get free multiplayer on their PS3s?  There certainly are reasons for Live to become free.
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« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2006, 08:03:17 PM »

More importantly, if they start choosing PS3 games over the same Xbox games for free multiplayer.  I suspect there'll be a lot of cross platform games that have MP, and if it's a choice between XBL and PS3online.  Assuming the PS3 online mode works, this could mean less revenue for the Xbox.

Also the whole issue of not being able to talk to friends or read messages while in game can be patched in, straight from Sony on that, and I know there'll be demand.  Frankly XBL had plenty of features patched in later.
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denoginizer
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« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2006, 08:59:29 PM »

Personally I have a nearly full FL with people I have been playing online with since 2002.  I am happy to pay $4 a month for Live.  Nothing against Sony's service.  But I am perfectly satisfied with Xbox Live.  If I ever do get a PS3 I would keep XBL despite the small monthly charge.
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« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2006, 09:09:32 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on October 14, 2006, 01:20:39 PM

Quote from: corruptrelic on October 14, 2006, 12:13:15 PM

wonderpug, that data is from july of last year! I'm sure that number is a lot higher than that now.
Holy shit!
Holy shit is right. When I said they were making alot of money off Live! I didnt think it was in the million's maybe even hundred million's now.

See, what did I tell you Tongue I knew allllll along, right.  retard
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« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2006, 10:32:17 PM »

Let's just see if sonys service is free because they tend  to tell you one thing then do another.
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« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2006, 12:10:08 AM »

It's good to hear that Sony has learned a few things from Live and will have some of those elements available in their service, too.  What worries me is the fact that each developer is going to be using different server and match-making tools and have to support their own bandwidth.  What makes Live great is that it all just works so well and seamlessly.  It's not perfect but it is mostly painless. 

No matter what I think it will be a while before Sony's service matures and comes into it's own.  Which doesn't bother me since I won't be able to afford one for the first year anyway. 
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« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2006, 01:29:31 AM »

It's worth pointing out that the PS2 has been completely free to play online, while the Xbox wasn't. Yet, Live still dominated to the PS2 online.

I'm all for Live going free and I'd love to see some updates to Live (maybe a web browser?) but realistically, Microsfot realizes people are still willing to pay to play and whether the competition is free or not, if you have a winning model, why change it?

I'm on my first free month of Live and am strongly considering getting the 12 month card, the battlefield 2 demo really is that good!  icon_biggrin
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