Sony and Xfire Sittin' in a Tree…

UPDATE: There have been two responses out of Sony’s camp pertaining to the news below. The first was from Sony Online Entertainment’s Chris Kramer, who stated, "SOE has been in talks with Xfire about potentially including some of their technology in Untold Legends Dark Kingdom, our PlayStation 3 launch title. This proposed deal is completely separate and independent from the PlayStation Network Platform, and is something that SOE was examining specifically for Dark Kingdom. More information on Xfire and Dark Kingdom will be coming soon." Kramer also went on to say, "We’re in talks with those guys about implementing the technology, but cannot discuss how we’d be implementing the technology."

The second response came from SCEA: "We can confirm that Sony Online Entertainment is in talks with Viacom and Xfire for a single, specific PS3 game. However, there are no announcements at this time regarding any discussions between SCEA, Viacom and Xfire."

It seems like more stock should be put into the comments from SCEA, which doesn’t necessarily shoot down the possibility of a PNP/Xfire combination, so much it does as it denies any publicly confirmed information pertaining to the topic.

There has been some doubt (okay, a lot of doubt) as to whether Sony actually has a shot at catching up to Xbox Live’s huge lead in the online gaming market. Xbox Live is well established, to say the least; more than 1.3 million messages are sent a day through the service, and the Xbox Live Vision camera hasn’t even been released yet. Sony has stayed quiet with their online plans, but 1UP has discovered through the transcript of Viacom’s Q2 earning’s report that the Playstation Network Platform, or PNP, will be integrated with the extremely popular Xfire service.

For those not in the know, Xfire is (currently) a Windows-only service that functions in a similar fashion to Xbox Live. It enables users to have a friends list (and see what those friends are currently playing, if anything), send messages and voice chat – for free.

The transcript stated: "Importantly, Xfire just signed a deal with Sony to create a version of their platform for the new PS3, which will now enable Xfire to extend its reach further into the huge console gaming market."

This is great news for potential PS3 owners. If this indeed works out, they may be looking at their own full-fledged online service that would certainly rival Microsoft’s. Not only that, but Sony has stated on numerous occasions that their online service would be free of charge (though likely ad-supported). Of course, it remains to be seen how well the system would work, given that Sony most likely will not be regulating game servers or handling a truly centralized system. Sony still has quite the path in front of them before they’ll be able to topple Xbox Live, but if it all works out, then hey – maybe Microsoft will provide a truly free version of Xbox Live as opposed to the watered down, handicapped Live that a Silver account provides gamers with.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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