Sony has finally unified its online services in a move that most industry experts would describe as inevitable, overdue, necessary or all of the above. The question is, what does this mean for the Average Joe, the hardcore gamer, the music fanatic and the movie junkie? Only time will answer that question, however, from a personal point of view this is a necessary move that has been long overdue.
Digital distribution services for alternative platforms such as iTunes are leading the industry and unfortunately the company that pioneered the digital era over the last half century now finds itself playing catch-up. As a gamer you have to admire what Apple has achieved with gaming success on the iOS platform with games such as Angry Birds that appeal to such a vast demographic. Sony had to react, not only because their main rival has a more reliable online gaming network (Xbox LIVE), but also because as a digital entertainment leader (Sony Music, Sony Pictures and so on) Sony should have been offering these services a few years back through a unified platform. Some may argue this would have hampered the growth of Blu-Ray as a format, however, that was always going to succeed as the Average Joe was always going to take time to be sold on the concept of (paid for) digital distribution.
One can only wonder what role the PlayStation Network hacks earlier this year had on the merger of all Sony’s online networking services. Did it facilitate the process or possibly urge Sony to restructure their Online Services? It could have been a simple case of the original PSN (pre-hacking) not being capable of merging with all other Sony Online services. For those who are Sony loyal, this is a great move from them and an indication of their future direction. Time for me to retreat to my “Sony shrine”.
What do you guys think about Sony unifying their online services? Good or bad, let us know your thoughts via the comments section below.