During a Q&A session with media over lunch after yesterday's GDC keynote, Sony's Phil Harrison
confirmed that PS3 software will be region free and that multiplayer gaming will also be free.
While we'd heard rumblings of the region-free set-up for games back in early November, we hadn't heard any official confirmation outside of Australia until just the other day. Importers (as well as online gamers) should be quite pleased with the development, though this move likely won't follow for Blu-ray movie discs. It's good to see the region-free status of PSP games spread to the PS3's.
If online multiplayer is included as part of Sony's free basic service (known internally as the "PlayStation Network Platform"), then what would constitute Sony's premium service besides the typical content downloads for games? Subscriptions for movie and/or music services, perhaps? And going back to the region-encoding news, it's heartening for our friends on the Continent to hear Phil's following statement: "It's possible for developers to put all the TV formats - PAL, NTSC, HDTV, and so on - on the disc." Can Sony bring the world together with games?
[Thanks, DarkFlash; image taken from Final Fantasy Odyssey]
- Free basic service on "PlayStation Network Platform"
- GDC: The PS3 keynote blow by blow ["P(S)NP" just an internal name]
- PS3 region encoding unlikely? [from Sony
Computer Ent. Australia]
- PS3 to share region
encoding on Blu-ray [for the U.S. and Japan?]