One of the big differentiating factors between Xbox LIVE and PLAYSTATION Network is the cost. PSN has tried to stand out as the better value, by offering free online gameplay. The Network is trying to expand to other free services, such as Home
and the Euro-exclusive VidZone
, which offers streaming music videos for free.
Of course, that's not the end to Sony's ambitious plans. Shuhei Yoshida explains to GI.biz
that Sony alone cannot manage all the experiences it wants to provide. "We can't support all the needs of the consumer," Yoshida admits. However, "there are great companies providing services on the PC already - so we're very open to provide the opportunity to those companies to reach our user base as well."
Once again, it looks like unique advertising relationships must be established. By offering advertisers a unique platform
to highlight their goods, players will be able to enjoy an expansive lineup of services for free. "We like to provide as many services as possible for free - we already provide our network access for gameplay for free - and the interesting thing about the network side and the Internet business is that there's a variety of revenue sources," he said. "Not necessarily getting people to pay, but with advertising and so on."