Saturday, September 26

Cross-game chat for PSN will even out the competition, eliminating XBL's advantage

It's the most requested feature from PSN users, they want cross-game chat and they want it now. Well fear not gamers, Sony it seems have heard your cries, and is incorporating the much requested feature into PSN as we speak, and according to recent rumors, will be made available in late October of this year. Question is, will the addition of cross-game chat to PSN quell once and for all the argument made by Xbox Live users, that their online community is better than that of the PS3's? And with the feature added, will it cause Microsoft to provide its own service free of charge? The reasonable answer should be yes, since after cross-game chat is integrated into PSN, both services will be equal. Here's why.

When the PS3 launched in 2006, it came with the Playstation Network, a network that was weak, in its infant stages and scorned at by Xbox Live users as being nothing even close to what Microsoft offered. The label was true; not only were there significantly less games available compared to XBL, the network was buggy, boring and seen as a half baked attempt by Sony. Things have changed though, and as time went on, PSN essentially caught up with Live, and in some cases outstrip its competitor. Let's look at the rare titles only available on PSN, titles like Wipeout HD, FlOw, and Flower just to name a few. Then add the PS1 classics like Final Fantasy XII, Metal Gear Solid, and much more too numerous to mention you'll realize, not only is PSN a great place, it's actually addictive. Third-party developers are constantly doling out content on both the PS3 and 360 equally, hence eliminating the edge Xbox Live once had. Of course, sometimes content arrives first on the 360, but not as often as before.

I'm not saying XBL is not a good service, on the contrary, it's the reason we had such a revolution in gaming when online play was introduced with the original Xbox, and most won't argue about the robustness of the Xbox Live market place. It's been the life and strength of the Xbox 360, consistently raking in major profits for Microsoft and delivering superb experiences to its members. What some would argue however, is why is it that Microsoft's service was better for so long, to which their inevitable answer is, it's because of the one year head start they had over Sony. To some extent their response rings true; for just as in any other situation, having an early start over your competition gives you time to fine tune your service, get rid of bugs, learn new techniques, and incorporate fresh ideas. Sony was late, but they're making up for that with great additions to PSN, additions like Home, which certainly has come a long way, and is gaining traction, with developers showing support by creating special Home spaces for their games, making the service even more attractive. No doubt, many will point to the user base of Live, claiming it's substantially bigger, yet we can universally agree that PSN has grown exponentially over the years. Sony's service is also free, where as Xbox Live members pay a yearly fee of $50. There are many more comparisons we could list, all showing PSN is on par with its competitor. So why is Xbox Live deemed a better service than PSN, even if they're equal on so many levels? One reason, cross-game chat.

Imagine yourself playing, Killzone 2, or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, with or against your friends on the other side of the ocean, and instead of just messaging, you can talk directly to them, all without paying a staggering phone bill. Now how awesome would this be? Really awesome. It's a feature called cross-game chat Xbox Lives users take for granted, but PS3 owners have yet to enjoy. It's often used as bragging rights by Xbox 360 owners against their PS3 counterparts, and is the sole reason Xbox Live got the edge. So if the rumors are true, (looks like they are), then come October, the 360 crowd will have nothing to brag about. Nothing.

09/26/09 Ernice Gilbert


  1. This would be great! It's been a long time coming, let's hope EA behaves.....

    "So if the rumors are true, (looks like they are), then come October, the 360 crowd will have nothing brag about. Nothing."

    I rest my case.

  2. You sound like a sony fan girl and even with cross-game chat ps3 will always remain behind xbox live its a whole different experience when your on live compared to psn.

  3. different doesn't mean better... :P

  4. looks like those rumors of EA holding back cross game chat are true.
    just seems to much of a coincidence.
    we hear nothing about cross game chat.
    than the rumor about EA hits and ever since every firmware update has been rumored to support it.
    may be that rumor if true knocked some sence into EA and some dignity.
    why the hell would you not want cross game chat, i really cant see why EA would be opposed to it.

  5. He's got a point. Xbox Live users would have nothing to brag about. Other than the party system maybe.. but cross-game voice chat in a group is basically the same as being in a party.

  6. Does seem a bit fanboyish, but his logic is sound. PSN has come a long way, and the small advantage Live has over it is not worth $50 a year. I suspect Microsoft will make Live free soon enough. Look at how quickly they folded when Sony dropped the price of the PS3. They dropped the Elite system by $100, and when that didn't work, they offered incentives that make it $50 off of that price. Microsoft knows Sony is doing better and they have competition now, they will continue to quit raping people for stupid shit to level the playing field.

  7. its very level now, and microsoft have tried their hardest to keep it to their advantage.

    They payed loads for exclusivity of fallout 3 dlc, but now that contracts run out its on ps3.

    sooner or later one of them is going to do something so epic they'll win.