One of Sony’s goals for the Playstation 3 is to manage online gaming with a unified service on par with Microsoft’s Xbox Live offering. Few details have emerged for the service, other than Sony’s desire to make their online matching component free. 1up has started investigating Sony’s online service, and has uncovered a few interesting details, and they believe that when online gaming comes to the Playstation 3, it will be based around the Xfire gaming service.
First, Viacom announced that a deal has been signed between Sony and Xfire, for a version of the platform for the PS3. According to 1up, neither company has denied the statement. If true, this is basically the smoking gun that would point to this partnership. Further, according to 1up’s report, Sony’s launch title, Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom is now appearing in the PC client’s configuration files. Looking at the capabilities of the Xfire service on the PC, it appears that much of the functionality of Xbox Live is matched by Xfire’s offering, and would make a good launch point for the service. In addition, this could theoretically open the door for PC and Playstation 3 online gaming. Certainly, with the details available, it seems that some form of the Xfire service will be hitting the Playstation 3, but how the service will integrate with Sony’s overall offerings is still unclear.
Update: GameDaily talked with David Karraker at SCEA, and he clarified that the deal was currently limited to Sony Online Entertainment, and not the Playstation 3 platform as a whole.
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