Today's Wall Street Journal has delved into the ins and outs of Microsoft's gamble to expand online gaming to
every gamer with the Xbox 360. Aiming to entice at least 50% of customers online--a figure previously unheard of with
Xbox Live, although Nintendo's wifi venture has approached it
--Microsoft have spent an
estimated $1 billion on the Live service.
That's a lot of money to spend in order to get customers signed up
and spending their own money in return--the question is whether the gamble will pay off. The WSJ have also put together
of the three next-gen offerings from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, for anyone who's been living under a
rock for the last year. One of the key online differences is the lack of a planned centralised online service in Sony
and Nintendo's lineup, but that's offset by the lack of service fees, so may see more absolute signups. It's going to
be a tough battle, and online gaming will be the only clear winner.