Viacom says Xfire is PS3-bound

[UPDATE] Media giant is working on a version of its recently acquired PC utility for the new console--but Sony now claims the service will be limited to a single SOE game.

484 Comments

When Sony first talked about the PlayStation Network Platform in March, it described a suite of communication features that included messaging, voice and video chat, matchmaking, ranking, and friends lists. Now, it appears that some of those functionalities will be handled by a PlayStation 3-specific version of the PC gaming utility Xfire--although it appears to be for only a single game.

Xfire was acquired by Viacom in April, and currently boasts more than 5 million registered users. Last month, a Viacom conference call reporting the company's second-quarter earnings included a brief mention of the service--and Sony's next platform.

"Importantly, Xfire just signed a deal with Sony to create a version of their platform for the new PS3, which will now enable Xfire to extend its reach further into the huge console gaming market," the company's then-president and CEO Tom Freston said in a transcript. Freston was removed from his position by the company's board of directors earlier this month.

While Xfire is primarily an in-game instant messaging program, it also offers some Xbox Live-like features, such as friends lists and chat options. However, the earnings call did not specify how many of these would be integrated into a PS3 version of Xfire, or how large a role Xfire might play in the system's PlayStation Network Platform.

[UPDATE] The plot thickened late on Tuesday, when Sony Computer Entertainment America gave 1up this statement. "We can confirm that Sony Online Entertainment is in talks with Viacom and Xfire for a single, specific PS3 game. However, there are no announcements at this time regarding any discussions between SCEA, Viacom and Xfire," a rep reportedly said.

Sony Online Entertainment's Chris Kramer went one step further, telling the site the name of the title in question. "SOE has been in talks with Xfire about potentially including some of their technology in Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom, our PlayStation 3 launch title," he said. "This proposed deal is completely separate and independent from the PlayStation Network Platform, and is something that SOE was examining specifically for Dark Kingdom. More information on Xfire and Dark Kingdom will be coming soon."

For his part, Xfire CEO Mike Cassidy flatly denied the service would be the backbone of Sony's answer to Xbox Live, as some had speculated. "Xfire is not part of the PlayStation Network Platform. We are in discussions with Sony Online Entertainment, but I cannot comment any further," he reportedly said.

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demollyon

Killer_Peanut name one good thing M$ has done with its xbox thats made it better besides its online service. wireless gamepads, detachable hard drive, VGA output, first console to output HD, revolutionary gamepad, Guide Button, 3 cores, Most advanced GPU in next-gen consoles, choice, gamercard, etc..... That's just some of the innovations.... now YOU name 1 innovation for the PS3, except Blu-Ray...

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Luciaphile

While Sony very well may be looking into a broader use of Xfire for PS3 or at other online options, at this time they aren't confirming discussions or making announcements. With regard to this information, 1up and Joystiq have each posted updates to the original story. From << LINK REMOVED >>:

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Gamepro2421

yeah...sry Sony but there's no way that incoperating a few of the Xfire IM features into your supposed "next gen" online service (which i can now see why it is free) is going to compair to the extremly well thought time-tested user friendly service which Microsoft is currently providing. And to Killer's comment...this news artical has nothing to do with the types of games that the PS3 is going to boast as apposed to Microsoft...so your arguement is kind of invalid, however true it may be. Poor Sony...i wanted you to succeed so badly, i really did ;(. At least we all have the Wii to look forward to :)

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KEELr

Mkeegs79: If you dont think the 360 is next gen enough for you I would actually pay $10 to see your face when you try that PS3 for the first time... and If you dont get the hidden message Im about to type out for you I would fork up another $10 ! "OMG, I WASTED $600 FOR JUST MORE 360 GRAPHICS?!?!" And wth is this secure my investment? If you look at any console as an investment you are just retarded! Buying a house is an investment.. ok?

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Arkham

Well it sounds like the original report wasn't entirely accurate. Xfire is in talkes with SOE for including its technology in a game or two, most likely Untold Legends or whatever that's called. It's apparently not currently planned for the Playstation Network Platform, but that might change.

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Mkeegs79

I dont need PS3 for online services. I have a 360 for that but... I need the PS3 to play so many of the exclusive games on the PS3 and... I need the Wii for something new and hell its cheap so... what is the point of people bashing Sony? People for the PS3 often defend it. Why? No, the question is WHY are you bashing it? Your not buying it or care about it then it shouldnt be on your mind! Talk about something intelligent and not your one-sided view how you think 360 for some reason is the best system!!!

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Killer_Peanut

"oh...poor sony fanboys, trying to save face...." save face? jsut because its true? name one good thing M$ has done with its xbox thats made it better besides its online service. you cant because all of its games suck besides halo and it isnt even out yet. that, and rainbow six vegas ther than that all you have is repetative games with lacking gfx and an excellent online service. xbox fails.

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demollyon

once again, sony shows it's inability to create a universal online gaming service... Xfire will only be used on untold legends, which means that every game will have it's own services and not a standard, like xbox live (video chat, custom soundtracks, messaging, voice chat, etc.) All this is reminding me of the PS2 online gaming service, and we all know how flop that was.... Well, PS3 just looks worse and worse.... a $600 useless piece of untested technology... No thanx, Xbox 360 and Wii for me...

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Paul_TheGreat

I hope UT 2007 supports this.

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shibipocanibo

Uhm, when did Sony ever say it was only for one game?

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Mkeegs79

KEELr, grow up. Nails in the coffin? Look at the regular Xbox. It was terrible(I had one too just like Killer_Peanut. I like the 360 put saying its better or can stomp Sony is ridiculous. Your just trying to secure your investment because you dont want it have gone to waste by Sony being the market leader. Plain and simple. Otherwise you have NO reason to whine about a system and argue which system is best! Calling the 360 next generation is going a little far? What does it offer that makes it special? Xbox Live, yeah its awesome. I use it but it was on the regular Xbox so its nothing new! Im sure Sony got something good for their internet service. They know how Xbox Live has been Microsoft's strength. Now people, thnk about it and stop whining which system is best. Who cares? Just shut up and play YOUR ONE system while I enjoy all three!!!!!

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naryanrobinson

this could be cool

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demollyon

Killer_Peanut "PS3 is an actual nex gen system, all xbox has done is better its online service and nothing more." oh...poor sony fanboys, trying to save face.... Nevermind! Xbox 360 ftw!

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JDO

Some things that don't make sense. Why would Sony wait this long to announce this service for 1 game? Does this mean that Sony has another service that will do this for all of the other games but is going to shut that service off for this one game or is Sony trying to hide the fact that this is the service for all games? If this is the service for all games and we are just now getting that fact this close to launch then that points out that Sony did try to create it's own service and failed. How else can you explain that this is just now being announced? Why would Sony not announce this a year ago if it was in place just to show everyone they had their network plans coming along? Sorry lots of questions. :)

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Killer_Peanut

god forbid if sony doesnt have video chat.... go have fun with your sexbox M$ fans. PS3 is an actual nex gen system, all xbox has done is better its online service and nothing more. the gfx look ike souped up reg xbox gfx, theyre terrible. now, before you xbox fan clubs get your panties in a bunch, i do have an xbox, biggest waste of money yet, and im not saying sony's online was the best. whats funny is that the Wii is better than the xbox and its nintendo. who wouldve thought playing kid games would outbeat a superior online community like the xbox has? just give it all time, if sony flops, they flop, no big deal to us now is it? no. but either way, im still getting one.

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3xthrtx3

It is for one game. See Joystiq: [Update 1: A Sony Online Entertainment has contacted 1UP and clarified that the Xfire technology was only being evaluated for the PS3 launch title, Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom. "This proposed deal is completely separate and independent from the PlayStation Network Platform, and is something that SOE was examining specifically for Dark Kingdom." It seems we're back to square one. Thanks, Sanchinos. Original post text retained below.]

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KEELr

Um, yes I've tried Xfire, works pretty good with some PC games... but to come out here on a huge site like this and compare it to Xbox Live is a waste of bandwith! So how will this work, do you get a microphone when you hand of those $600 to the clerk? I guess CAPS+X and typing out your squad commands while running from a Giant Enemy Crab wont work as good as Sony think it might...

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thisissami

" So, did Sony just give up on trying to develop a system to rival Xbox Live? Oh well, at least they're getting something that has more functionality than the PS2 did, but this is even less reason to buy one now." how is it bad, and how are they giving up? what that means is that they are giving a company the liscense to have a small part of the PS3, and that means that Xfire will try all it can do to focus and make it as good as possible so that they won't lose their liscense. That means the chatting part of the PS3 will be much better than the Xbox chatting, assuming that sony will have fast servers. just one thing you might want to realize is that what you're saying is the same thing as saying: "oh sony isn't making it's own games? it's getting square enix, konami, and capcom to make games as well? well then that means they're giving up and can't make games on their own... that's more of a reason not to buy a PS3!" face it, the more companies there are working on something together in agreement, the better it is. the PS2 would suck if it didn't have any 3rd party titles... actually it wouldn't...shadow of the colossus, ico, god of war...lots of good first party titles...it would just mean it would miss out on the likes of MGS3, FFX/XII, Kingdom Hearts, Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, etc.

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RossBurns101

Okay, here's the thing. Xfire is a matchmaking and chat service but NOT a hosting service. Xbox Live however, is both. It costs money to run servers for games to play on, which is why it costs money per year. Could that cost be covered by advertising or microtransactions? Maybe. Even if Xfire isn't just for the one game, they are just a matching and chatting service and we still haven't heard anything else about how they're going to pay for game servers. So while this is good news for Sony, as Xfire already has experience in this kind of field and I'm sure will do a fine job on the PS3 as well, I'm still a little apprehensive about the whole online plan.

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yb125

If it's good and works I don't care how who made it. Yes it may not be as good as Xbox live, but if it's much cheaper and serivceable then I'll do fine.

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zalanth

Pretty cool, I'm interested to see how it turns out.

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Adultgmr77

Worse console launch in history????? Wow when did the PS3 come out I didn't know sooooo many of you have a PS3 and know so much about the lack of games that are already realeased, and the PNP service is already released? Man a lot of you must have pre-ordered way in advanced. If you are rippin Xfire, you are an uninformed, lack of common sense, and need to do some research. The Xfire community is huge, and has been in use for years. But all people see is what they want to see. Grow up, wait and see, and don't buy a PS3 if you can't/don't want to afford one. Or you parents are smart enough not to give you your years allowance in advance.

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zeonne

ok god_of_shawn, you just id'ed yourself as another person who has no idea what their talking about...the guide button on the ps3 controller isnt copying xbox, its the same button fron the psp, if anything that just another way M$ copied sony....again

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ShockwavMk2

So, did Sony just give up on trying to develop a system to rival Xbox Live? Oh well, at least they're getting something that has more functionality than the PS2 did, but this is even less reason to buy one now. And dyne, there have been like twelve demos released this month alone, so I'm not sure what you mean by them putting out very little demos. Besides, the devs are the ones who make the demos anyway.

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Lordofultima

This is quite interesting. Makes you wonder how "Open" The Sony Network is going to be. If it's able to run an application such as XFire, maybe you could somehow communicate with other XFire members that are stationed on PCs. I could see that being pretty cool, myself.

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spidey008

I've never used Xfire, but I'm seen many people on forums that do. At least this is not totally bad news for Sony.

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dyne12

I don't see how they are copying xbox live since it's not like there charging u $60 a year to play online or at least they have yet to say they will and it's not like xbox live has that many great functions such as having to pay 5 bucks for a set of small avatar pics. The only useful thing that xbl is offering is the online chat and the ability to view friends stats. Honestly i would rather have free online play minus that stuff. Now i know that u MS fanboys will go all retarded now and be all "But what about downloading demos or sending messages to offline friends" and all i have to say is meh. Yes the demos are nice but they never or very rarely put out demos and usually they are for games i could care less about. So good work Sony.

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hitman90

0.0 I REALLY hope this does not happen, if it does I'll be forced to uninstall Xfire( and I'm on it every day )

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00Rambol00

Actually, thinkin about it i've bin disapointed with Sony for god damn delayin the PS3 in March 2007. That really does take the potty lol Sony will defo. ave to make up now....

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00Rambol00

ahh comon guys with negative posts, just "wait" and see what happens, unless u've never heard the word "wait" lol :P

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ElementalFire

Been proven false. It's for one game only. << LINK REMOVED >>

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jmac777

Yay..$600 to play...GT4 (PS2 game) on XFire... SOrry If i dont seem XCited...but...you have to have games worth of Playing online to raise excitement.. I would rather play them on XBOX Live anyway....

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KEELr

So.. um.. Xfire is Sony's weapon against Xbox LIVE? Hahahaha!! How many nails is that in your coffin now Sony? Cant be many more until we can officially declare the PS3 as the worst console launch in history!

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living420

so this news is saying PS3 MIGHT have as much online functionality as xbox did 4 years ago? ok....*clap clap clap* very good Sony!

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MSE369

greaat news!!.... tough luckk for Freston though :P

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rijnie

good job, Sony wll win the console war ! with the ultimate next-gen machine !! :)

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si7ver

OPOLO, what types of problems are you referring to? Please be more specific w/ your posts. Instead of just being negative. -777-

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Ericvon71

I love reading these things, because there is always console envy. Good move Sony!

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OPOLO

It sounds as if a bunch of problems are on the way. U wait and see - problems, problems, and more problems with their online interface - sorry, FanBoy's

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ftjx

I have Xfire, don't know what it does, never uses it.......

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si7ver

It's funny to read comments like, "Sony is trying to copy XBL." Blah blah blah. So is M$ trying to copy Sony w/ their new camera? People get over it! When the PS3 is launched....buy it if it appeals to you and if it doesn't, don't! Why talk smak. All consoles have their good and bad points. That's maybe a good reason to get them all. IMO -777-

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Autolycus

if what you say is true MAXIMO1, then sony better do something for developers to easily communicate with other users(api). otherwise online will fail if every game is different. the great thing about the xbox live is all the games use the same subset and have to follow that standard

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maximo1

DIDN'T YOU GUYS READ MY MESSAGE BEFORE POSTING. CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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shazaila

PS3's going to own. I'm not saying the other console's blow, but I think PS3's gonna take this console generation.

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marolia

great

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coltACP

Good to see the infrastructure of Sony online coming together, hopefully they'll have something quite good to support the growing online market.

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maximo1

Gamespot hasn't updated their news find. It's been updated over on joystiq.com. Xfire will only be for one game and not for the entire platform. "A Sony Online Entertainment has contacted 1UP and clarified that the Xfire technology was only being evaluated for the PS3 launch title, Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom. "This proposed deal is completely separate and independent from the PlayStation Network Platform, and is something that SOE was examining specifically for Dark Kingdom." It seems we're back to square one. Thanks, Sanchinos. Original post text retained below."

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LosDaddie

Can Sony ever come up with their own service?:roll:

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BajenVaNamnet

Wonderful news!

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TofuDrift1986

larsypoop, it was implied. I take you don't know what a pre-emptive counter is?