Yesterday we reported on Sony's potential use of Xfire as a component of their Playstation Network Platform (aka the PS3's answer to Xbox Live). The news was reported by many outlets, including our parent-site, Joystiq. This morning Joystiq posted the following update:
"Sony Online Entertainment has contacted 1UP and clarified that the Xfire technology was only being evaluated for the PS3 launch title, Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom. 'This proposed deal is completely separate and independent from the PlayStation Network Platform, and is something that SOE was examining specifically for Dark Kingdom.' It seems we're back to square one."
As it turns out, we may not actually be back to square one. But, first, this response from Sony raises many interesting questions:
- Why is Sony experimenting with any facet of their online approach so late in the game?
- Does the response imply that games/developers can do what they want from an online perspective, without a consistent and standardized experience?
- If Sony's own proprietary stuff is so great, why have the trial with Xfire in the first place?
"Per your Xfire post, there are many network middleware providers partnered with Sony on the PNP. These are third parties that they use to supplement their in-house online solutions. This includes the likes of Gamespy and several others. To clarify the Internet gossip a bit, the Xfire story does not mean that Sony has outsourced their online platform to a single vendor. They are just one of the bunch. Sony continues to develop funtionality and their own Xfire-like capabilities while not trying to reinvent the wheel. Several PS3 titles use Gamespy, for example, to do their matchmaking already."
This comes from a reputable, but ultimately anonymous source, so interpret as appropriate.