It seems like PS3 is backward compatible with the PS2's mistakes.
Ronald Diemicke (1148), Oct 11, 2006
Gamasutra is reporting that instead of Xfire just implementing stuff for the Sony first party game, Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom, they'll also be making a full blown middleware SDK for online play.
You'd think after the whole 'each game has different ways of getting online and is annoying as all hell' phase on the Playstation 2 that they'd have learned. As it stands, we've got Gamespy and Xfire middleware and the system isn't even out; if anyone is just going to be able to do anything online, it'll be chaos.
I for one, happen to like being able to see what my friends are playing on the same system, but with this disparate platform, if you're playing a Playstation 3 Xfire game and I'm playing a Gamespy Playstation 3, we might as well be on different console platforms entirely because we're not gonna know each other is playing. The rest of the features and do-dads are nice, but ultimately, I wanna know when my friends are playing so we can pull each other into games.
It's worth noting that this all could have something to do with the publishers. Back when Xbox Live was getting started, EA resisted and you could only play their games online on the PS2. The fact is that a unified system makes it harder for publishers to have direct relationship with their customers because there is a middle man (In the case of XBox Live, its Microsoft).
Even though EA finally fell in line with Live, it's worth noting that while EA is integrated into XBL, that they still operate their own servers and have their own things going on with their games like the ability to turn off support for older sports titles after about a year thus encouraging you to get the latest Madden.
It still seems silly to NOT make a standard after the debacle that was the Playstation 2 online and the success of XBox Live, even if it means having to fight with the publishers a little bit more. Granted, Sony's service is free, but you really do get what you pay for. Personally, the less than $5 a month is for XBox Live is worth not having to deal with the annoyances that come with what feels like a disjointed, crippled online experience. If Sony, Gamespy, and Xfire sit down and work to allow for cross game, cross middleware platform friends lists, I think that'd be a huge leap in the correct direction to bring the Playstation 3 online experience within striking distance of the XBox 360.
Notice I haven't mentioned Nintendo, mainly because while I know I'll be able to check the weather on my Wii, I have very little idea what games I'll be able to play online and how they'll work. That and I'm still burned over the blasted ethernet port. ($20-something dollars for a wired lan adapter? Are you kidding?)
Anyway, it just seems to me as if middleware for your online service is so last gen, but what do you guys think? Free and clunky, smooth and costly, or clueless and unpredictable?