Ken Kutaragi finally cleared up most of the uncertainty around Sony's Live-like online service for the PS3 this week, outlining a rich environment in which players can interact, download content, play games for free, and engage in micro-payments for in-game commerce. The service-formerly-known-as-Sony-HUB is actually being called the PlayStation Network Platform, and unlike Xbox Live, will offer owners some free gaming at the basic subscription level as well as connect to the regular Intenet and allow members to host their own game servers. Kutaragi also confirmed that games will be bootable from the PS3's hard drive, making it likely that Sony will be selling titles from the original PlayStation and PS2 catalogs for retro gaming fun. Among the usual slew of video chat, avatar creation, ranking, and other community functions we've come to expect from online play is the interesting addition of a "matchmaking" feature, which we're presuming is of the romantic variety, and which you can probably expect Philadelphia's ABC Action News to issue an "important warning" to parents about in the near future.

[Via Joystiq, thanks Luke]

Today in Engadget Mobile: March 17, 2006