According to a scan posted on the PlayStation forums, the March issue of PlayStation Magazine (PSM) reveals Sony's plans to deliver an online gaming experience that not only targets Microsoft's much lauded Live service, but surpasses it. The article reads:

"Cast aside any doubts and start gazing skyward, because that's where Sony is aiming with plans that go far beyond simple leader boards and matchmaking -- or even the PS3, for that matter."

"'It's very real,' one source tells us. 'They (Sony) are dead serious about it. They've declared, and I quote, a 'full-on assault' on the latest version of Xbox Live.'"

"They are committed to matching Xbox Live [on the 360] feature for feature and then some."

This story, together with the recent survey Sony conducted, should remove any doubts about Sony's online ambitions. Is it possible that Sony could create a network the size and scale of Xbox Live in such a short time? It has cost Microsoft, the world's largest software company, billions and taken years just to lay the framework for the current Live service.

Sony is known for their hyperbolic marketing: the PS2's Emotion Engine, the PSP as iPod-killer; it seems unlikely they could take the crown from Microsoft on their first try, but any attempt is a huge relief. It was beginning to look like Sony didn't think the Live service was a valuable addition to console gaming, or a serious competitor to their hegemony.

Read on for some (barely) readable closeups from the image on the right.

[Thanks, apoc06 & Draco]

[Update: corrected some grammatical errors.]


This article was originally published on Joystiq.

When will games get the ad $$ they deserve?