Sony is close to launching a sprawling online world for the PS3 called PlayStation HUB, which could even eclipse Xbox Live, according to strong rumours on the web.
Naturally, the Japanese giant is keeping quiet on the news but ‘well-placed’ industry sources have told website Next Generation that an official announcement will be made in the next few weeks.
The HUB certainly sounds like an online marketplace we’d like to frequent – not only will it offer Xbox Live-style online play and chat options it will also apparently act as an iTunes-esque portal for offering on-demand music and movies. Even PSP owners will be invited to the party to tap into the service’s multimedia offerings.
It’s all a slightly more full-blooded attempt to embrace the online community than the PS2’s network adaptor, although this time it’s unlikely to be free – it’s said that there will be a monthly subscriber fee.
Sony’s official product page also suggests that when the PS3 is finally launched, most likely in November in the UK, you’ll have to buy a hard drive separately, although an Xbox 360-style ‘premium’ package including storage is possible.
We’re expecting more official news at the E3 show in May but for now you can head over to the PlayStation site for more info.