Robert Bach, president of Microsoft’s Entertainment & Devices Division, recently dismissed Sony’s Playstation Network in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. The Playstation Network, Sony’s online service that seeks to emulate the success of Microsoft’s Xbox Live and provide a place for PS3 users to interact, is still in its infancy and has yet to make a noticeable splash in the online console gaming community.
Bach believes that the Playstation Network offers no threat to the success of Xbox Live and that Microsoft’s online service, now celebrating its fifth year, has absolutely no competition in the industry. Bach also noted Xbox Live’s massive, dedicated userbase of more than 8 million gamers and indicated that Microsoft intends to nurture this community with utmost care.
Microsoft will continue to press its online service by releasing original Xbox titles through the Xbox Live Marketplace. Among the list of planned releases are Xbox bestsellers Halo: Combat Evolved and Fable, which will be available for 1,200 Microsoft points each.
The Playstation Network is not without merits, however. Unlike Xbox Live, which requires a paid member account to access online matchmaking, the Playstation Network offers online play without charge. While Xbox Live currently commands the majority of the online console gaming population with exclusives such as Halo 3, the future may see sales of multiplatform releases orienting towards the PS3, as casual gamers with only mild interest in the online aspect may opt for Sony’s free services over Microsoft’s monthly subscriptions.
Xbox Live may have over 8 million subscribers, but the idea of complimentary online play may be too good to pass up.
Read [Los Angeles Times] Via [GameIndustry Biz]