Everyone knows the PlayStation Network had to play catch-up in the online services battle with Microsoft's Xbox Live, and Sony has admitted they were a little late to the party.
If you check out the latest issue of Edge magazine , you will find an interview with Sony Computer Entertainment's president of worldwide studios, Shuhei Yoshida. It's where he says the company was "late to offer platform-level support, to make the online functionality work at that level." Perhaps the primary difference between the PSN and Live is that Microsoft attacked the concept right from the start, essentially pushing it hard in every aspect of their machine. The Network sorta started with more of a whimper than a bang and really needed the PS3 to make the necessary strides (which have occurred). Said Yoshida:
"We made the prior decision that you do not introduce the common centralised network names into every experience, so publishers made their own. That was fine at the start, but as more and more games have online functionality you need a unified approach. So Microsoft took that approach in the last generation, and maybe that's where people see the difference when they compare Xbox Live and PSN."
The debate over which online service is better at this point rages, but that's a good sign…several years ago, there was no debate. Now, with arguably better exclusives, thousands of movies and TV shows, solid stability, and the fact that it's FREE, the PSN has finally made its move. Yoshida went on to talk about incorporating other social networking aspects like Facebook: "Something like 300 million people already have accounts on Facebook. Why should we ignore that?" Sony is really into bringing the PS3 into as many homes as possible – hardcore and casual gamers alike – so who knows what you might see in the near future…