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Friday, September 08, 2006

Will Sony Repeat The PS2's Online Strategy?

Forget hardware delays or high prices - this is far more impactful to Sony's PlayStation 3 than anything I've heard all year. It's a quote from Dave Jones, who worked on the Grand Theft Auto series:

His main concerns stem from what he sees as Sony's decision to force publishers to come up with their own online systems. "I seriously question Sony's policy of leaving it down to publishers to come up with their own standards for each [online] game," he said. "I completely disagree with it," Jones went on. "I'm not going to put my credit card details with five different companies for some bits of downloadable content."
-- The Escapist News Room : GTA Creator Criticizes Sony's Online Plans

Microsoft has to be given credit for at least one thing with the Xbox - they acknowledge a tech-savvy online demographic and worked hard to maximize them. They proved that you could make a pay-for-subscription framework viable, affordable and desirable. Sony, on the other hand, let developers languish and diversified their online setup for PS2 in exchange for not having to charge their customers any additional overhead.

While Microsoft's strategy has clearly worked, it would seem wise for Sony to follow step with the PlayStation 3 ... but that quote makes it sound like they haven't been taking notes. Sony shouldn't just emulate Microsoft, they should be outdoing them - perhaps by leveraging their media connections and offering more music and movies online.

They definately need to do something. More of the same won't do with the online offering for the next generation.

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