September 13th, 2006, 22:52 Posted By: wraggster
It will definitely run the online aspect of Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom, but will it take on a wider role?
Speculation that a console version of PC online gaming service Xfire will be integrated into the PlayStation 3 Online Service - after parent company Viacom appeared to reveal precisely that in its Q2 financial report - has sparked a welter of denials, although both Sony and Xfire admit that a version of the latter is being developed for the PS3's Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom.
1Up managed to acquire a transcript of Viacom's Q2 earnings report conference call (how deliciously American), in which president and CEO Tom Freston said: "Importantly, Xfire just signed a deal with Sony to create a version of their platform for the new PS3, which will now enable Xfire to extend its reach further into the huge console gaming market." This led to speculation that a PS3 Xfire client would handle responsibility for messaging, matchmaking, patching, stats profiling and so on - all services that the PC client offers.
But a torrent of denials soon followed. Sony Online Entertainment's Chris Kramer said: "SOE has been in talks with Xfire about potentially including some of their technology in Untold Legends Dark Kingdom, our PlayStation 3 launch title. This proposed deal is completely separate and independent from the PlayStation Network Platform, and is something that SOE was examining specifically for Dark Kingdom."
Xfire CEO Mike Cassidy chipped in with: "Xfire is not part of the PlayStation Network Platform. We are in discussions with Sony Online Entertainment, but I cannot comment any further."
Doth they protest too much wethinks? It would make sense for Sony to have a unified matchmaking and general online gaming service with a consistent interface, and Xfire is highly regarded for its ease of use and approachability. Sony, bidding to make maximum impact at next week's Tokyo Games Show, is currently loath to announce anything, so it will be interesting to see what it says about the PS3 Online Service and Xfire at TGS.
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