According to Sony, developers will benefit from the open platform policy of SCEA, which will allow them more freedom and creativity in the development of their games and online/network services. This approach is similar to the PS2s online services which allow for developers to create their own systems for online play, rather than one consistent experience, such as Xbox Live. However, it appears that Sony will be implementing a central sign in function, so that gamers dont need to have separate user names for each title.
The PS3s network will be accessible through the XMB (Xross Media Bar). This interface is essentially an expanded version of the PSPs XMB interface. Central to the PS3s XMB will be gaming; network and web connectivity; and other entertainment contents such as movies and music. The XMB interface, already featured on more than 20 million PSPs (worldwide), allows PS3 users to experience multiplayer games across the network; communicate with other players via chat, voice or video; browse the web; download gaming content; store/view pictures and video; download and listen to music; and shop online. The XMB and its content can be controlled using the traditional input of the Sixaxis controller, controlled by tilting the Sixaxis, or one can plug in a USB keyboard into the PS3 and type, which will be extremely useful for web surfing.
Through the online PlayStation Store, visitors can find such items as game demos, game-related content (microtransactions) and downloadable casual games. Unlike Xbox Live, there is no size limit (50MB on XBL), so gamers will be able to download both 2 and 3D content, including titles developed by Sony Computer Entertainment World Wide Studios exclusively for download and play only on PS3, such as Blast Factor. Downloadable first party games will cost less than $15 at launch. More content will be added on a regular basis. There will be no fee to use Sonys PS3 online services.
The PS3 Network will also support transferring downloads to the PSP. This means that gamers will be able to purchase PSOne titles via the PS3 network and transfer them to their PSPs for play. Sony has yet to release full details on PSP and PS3 connectivity.