In a hit-and-run interview with MCV at the Game Developers Conference, Chris Lewis of Microsoft Europe spoke candidly about their feelings for Sony's online platform. "It’s certainly flattering to see that our competition rates aspects of Xbox 360 and Xbox Live so highly that they’re integrating these features into their own product."

Ouch! Pithy comment alert up there. Since they've been around the block a few times, that gives them a little freedom to say what they want about their competition. But he didn't stop there. He also spoke about having been involved in the games biz for long enough to know that initial declarations don't always hold up in the end. So behind the belittling, do you think Microsoft is just stirring up the pot or are they getting worried? Not sure if we can detect any fear behind those comments, but gamers are starting to express their interest in free online gaming (just look at our poll).

Naysayers might conclude that nothing in life is free, and PNP will be no different. Microsoft would probably love to see that too. But now that Sony has our attention, they can't afford to lose it by deciding to change up the formula. This is one initial claim that Sony fans are taking to the bank.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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