I am a big gaming fan, as you might know, I always end up getting the latest consoles. For the last few years the machine to rule the roost for me has been the Xbox; why? Simple Xbox Live!
But it looks like Sony have plans to change that…
If you are an avid gamer you know the benifits of playing a real person instead on the computer controlled charactors. The human can do something that no other AI can, think on it’s feet and surprise you. I don’t care how much developers say they have improved the gameplay and the AI, you will never beat the uncertain action of a human player, plus it’s more fun to know that person you just fragged has a face maybe even a name.
The first introduction was the online PC gaming which whilst fun I could never get the hang of. Not so much the games but all the changes in hardware and software.
You need patch 2.743 to join this game.
Sorry we are using TeamSpeak on this match.
I need another graphics card for this game.
To name but a few of the problems I found. So when I learnt of an Xbox version of online gaming I was tempted.
Xbox Live turned out to be a hidden success to start with, you purchased a 12month contract to the service and recieved a nice headset, next you just had to purchase the Live enabled games.
The bottom line was that everyone was on the same hardware, had the same vocal setup, even the same release of the game. You only things different were your own television and deciding if you wanted to sit playing games in your shorts!
Microsoft really tore away in the console market with this and it shows, if you look at the new 360 console everything about it based around an internet connection and a Live account. It is the way forward and if any of the Next-Gen (when does Next-Gen become Current-Gen? Is the 360 now a current generation machine?) consoles want to complete they have got to get on board and come up with a service that rivals the Xbox version to even stand a hope in survival, let alone better it to win.
Rumours are currently flying around the internet that this is exactly Sony’s plans for the upcoming PS3.
Now lets look at the options and facts:
Microsoft is a software company that develop computer software, they have spent most of their life on the internet and communicating accross the wires. I’m ignoring my own personal views on Microsoft here and trying to objective, but if anyone has the upperhand and resources it would be them.
Sony are multi-media company and despite what people say and claim, they are the leaders in the console gaming market, they have the backing of developers and design studios.
They make damn good televisions and audio equipment but can Sony make a online gaming arena?
Sony try their hand at everything and some where they have had a finger in a pie tasting something. But they are not full of success. Their software for a start; I’ve tried using MGJukebox and SonicStage; they don’t work, it’s a ugly and hatefilled piece of software and all Sony computers would be better off without it. The Sony ‘Bean’ looks nice and does the job but is it an iPod killer, doubt it.
I think that is the problem, it’s all show and no go.
Don’t get me wrong I love Sony products. I still love my PS2. (Gran Turismo is by far the best driving simulator out there Forza is good but not even close!) They have some awe inspiring design ideas and the level of detail they put into products is just consumer bliss and given the choice I would have a Brava LCD display in my room, but would I be playing Xbox Live on it?
I think that Sony have got their work cut out at present. Microsoft set up the online console gaming scene years ago, they have the current market top dog machine behind them. Even with rumours of a PS3 launch earlier than planned I think Sony are leaving it a bit late. By the time the PS3 comes out Microsoft will be ready to drop prices to compete, if the rumours about the specification of the PS3 are true it could not afford to complete. The current Live service will be tried and tested and by which time I think it will take a lot for people to switch.
My own personal view, I really do hope that the PS3 has a online gaming service to match the Xbox, I think if Sony ignore this area they are destined to fail.
If I can get the choice of two online gaming services from the comfort of my armchair, why not?