Games and Identity

The arrival of the new Grand Theft Auto game has left with a bit of a dilemma… I have an xbox 360 which I’m pretty happy with.  A bunch of my workmates have PS3’s.  We’ve been talking quite a bit about GTA and they’ve been telling me how good it is, and how it’s got online play that I should join in with. 

So do I buy it for my xbox and play without my mates, or buy a PS3 and play online with them. 

I don’t like having problems like this… I rarely need much of a reason to blow cash on sexy technology so having an argument to do just that doesn’t help my bank balance.  It strikes me that the reason I have this dilemma is that there’s no unified identity or play across PS3 and xbox. 

Xbox Live is now pretty well developed, but the impression I get from my mates is that the Playstation Network is less so.  Without knowing the in’s and out’s of games development I would imagine that sorting out the online play is quite complex and that its something you’d want to do as fewer times as possible. 

Given that end users probably want cross-platform play, and that developers would probably quite like to have one way of doing things, if I was Microsoft I’d be looking at providing some sort of Xbox Live dev kit for PS3’s.

I’m guessing there are some pretty well defined API’s there that aren’t necessarily tied to a hardware platform.  And it’s not necessarily something Sony could stop (unless the PS3 developers are contractually tied to the PSN), so I imagine its technically possible.

I can see why MS wouldn’t want to do this, after all it might be one less reason by an XBox over a PS3.  But given that the PS3 seems to be gaining momentum now that Blueray has won over HD-DVD it might be nice way of MS cashing in on Sony’s success.   If PS3 users are able to play on XBox Live it would seem like quite a good way of driving new subscriptions and giving the PS3 owners a taste of what’s available on the full Live Marketplace on xbox.

Does that make sense or am I just daydreaming?

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