With PS3, the fun’s always free: Is Sony mocking Xbox Live with new ad?

Sony has released a new advert that possibly makes a joke at Xbox Live’s expense (expense, get it?). The new ad declares that “the fun’s always free,” referencing the PlayStation Network and the fact that it costs nothing to game online through Sony’s service, while on Xbox Live you have to pay for the privilege.

The fact that Sony doesn’t yet expect anybody to pay for its online provision is certainly a huge bonus, but by the same token, what Xbox Live offers for the money is pretty damn good, and the cost has certainly not stopped millions of customers using Microsoft’s gold service. Would the PSN be successful at all if Sony started charging? Probably not at this current juncture, which is why it’s been a far easier decision to make the service free. Perhaps a free PSN will be far more tempting in a year or two, but if it becomes as big and successful as Xbox Live, will Sony want to keep offering it for the price of nothing? Corporations generally don’t give away what they can charge money for.

At any rate, while Sony can continue to boast of a free PSN, that doesn’t really serve much of an insult to a company making millions off its premium online service. If you sold your car on Ebay for ten thousand dollars, you won’t be impressed by the fact that I gave mine away to someone I met in a Yahoo chatroom.

What do you think of the new advert? Is the fun always free, as Sony claims? Did they just serve Microsoft a plate of ownage, or does Sony need some online multiplayer smashes of its own before it can start using the PSN as ammo against the Xbox 360? The comment box is there for the using, so use it.

[Aerox rox!]

Jim Sterling