Xfire/PS3 Partnership Detailed
About six weeks ago, Viacom let it slip that the PC gaming service, Xfire, was working on a version of utilities that would run on the PS3. A few days later, a Sony representative clarified that Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom would be the first title to take advantage of the service, but included no further details regarding actual implementation.
Yesterday, Xfire did confirm that a few of its features would be included in the game, and provided us with those previously missing details. And furthermore, the company is working to license its own software development kit for publishers who wish to utilize any Xfire features for their PS3 games.
According to Xfire CEO Mike Cassidy in a brief interview with GameSpot, his company plans to provide cross-platform text chat and a friends list for Untold Legends, which will allow players to communicate with other Xfire-equipped gamers on the PC and PS3. Support for various other features will be added at a later date, and their goal is to have every feature available on future PS3 titles. For the time being, Cassidy said there are "less than 10" PS3 games that intend to integrate Xfire features.
He also talked about the company's move into consoles, and he believes it's something both publishing partners and consumers are asking for. "We are in talks with one other console maker," Cassidy said, which is a possible reference to Nintendo and the Wii. It makes more sense than the Xbox 360, as Microsoft's Live service was built from scratch, and has already announced cross-platform plans ("Live Anywhere") that would include cell phones and PCs.
And gamers need not worry about forced additional costs. Sony Online Entertainment producer Andy Sites has already announced the service as "optional."
"We support the PlayStation Network friends, matchmaking, and messaging service, and we've also integrated Xfire," said Sites. "So you can use both, or you can choose to use Xfire, or just the PlayStation Network. We've integrated them so they work well together."
In terms of ease of compatibility between Xfire and PS3, it appears both parties are satisfied with the current situation. Sites said his team was able to include Xfire feature with "minimal support" from Cassidy's company, and Cassidy returned the sentiment by saying it was "very easy to integrate."
"It's not technically hard to do," Cassidy finished. "We did the whole Dark Kingdom thing in about three and a half weeks, but it was a race. … The Sony Online engineers worked like crazy and we worked like crazy, but we were able to pull it off."
10/11/2006 Ben Dutka