Thursday, March 23, 2006
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Sony's (SNE) top video game studio executive said on Wednesday that a new online service debuting with its PlayStation 3 console in early November will open up a world of new content for gamers as well as new revenue opportunities for the company.
The service, which lets users buy games and communicate and compete with other players via the Web, again puts the company in head-to-head competition with Microsoft (MSFT).
Sony, one of the world's leading technology manufacturers and entertainment companies, aims to retain dominance over the roughly $30 billion global video game market with the PS3.
Rival Microsoft introduced its next-generation Xbox 360 game console in November of last year. The company's Xbox Live subscription service, which offers game downloads and online play, has been a hit on the new machine and Sony had been widely expected to offer a similar service.
The basic level of Sony's online service, known internally as PlayStation Network Platform, will be free, Phil Harrison, president of worldwide studios for Sony Computer Entertainment, said at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose.
Users will pay for subscriptions to game services and premium content, he told Reuters in an interview.
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