BBC: The PlayStation Network will let PS3 owners play other gamers, chat, download extras, store images, video, or music and browse the net. The network will be free to play or chat but users must pay to get downloadable games and other extras.
The navigation system for the PlayStation Network is based on that used on Sony’s handheld game gadget – the PSP. This navigation system has a “Friends” area in which users manage online game play. In this area they can see if friends are online and what games they want to play. It also includes a basic social networking system that lets people swap text-based messages.
As well as giving users access to online gaming and the net, this browsing system gives access to any images, music or movies stored on the device. This multimedia content can be taken from the net, bought from the Sony PlayStation store or loaded via memory sticks or USB.
Via the store PS3 owners will be able to buy downloadable games, extras for games, movies and music. Downloadable games are expected to cost about 12 euro.
The PS3 is due to launch on 11 November in Japan, 17 November in North America and March 2007 in Europe.