If Microsoft did one thing absolutely right, it’s Xbox Live. Whether or not you agree with its subscription fees (I certainly don’t), there’s no denying that the Xbox 360’s online service is a success, as evidenced by the fact that it’s still used by millions of gamers, even in the face of the PlayStation 3’s completely free-to-play model. Despite Xbox Live’s long-established hold over the online console world, however, Sony remains confident that the PSN is holding its own.
“…At this stage of the game when I really look at PSN and the entire offering I think we’re in great shape,” claims Sony’s Eric Lempel. “I don’t think there’s a lot of “catch up” [with XBL] anymore. In some cases, I think we’ve got more, and we’ve got some other things they don’t have.”
While the PS3’s subscription-free service is definitely appreciated, and the PlayStation Store’s library of downloadable titles is fantastic, I still think Sony has some work to do if it’s going to convince people that they don’t need Xbox Live anymore. The lack of identity on the PSN, not to mention the lack of blockbuster online games, needs to be addressed. Until Sony can coax more players away from their yearly subscriptions, I wager that there’s definitely much more catching up to do.