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Gaming Moves to a Network-Based Business

Red Herring reports that fending off an aggressive challenge from Microsoft�s Xbox 360, Sony is building a game network to support the launch of its PlayStation 3 in November, a company executive said.

The plan is in response to a fundamental industry shift from a disc-based to a network-based business, said Phil Harrison, president of worldwide studios for the Tokyo-based consumer electronics giant. �The industry has demanded this from us,� he said. The move could help Sony maintain its lead over Microsoft in the battle of next-generation game consoles. Microsoft has been moving aggressively to challenge Sony, which last week announced a six-month delay for the PS3.

Sony already offers a limited online service, but the company has been discussing a �PlayStation Network Platform,� that is similar to Microsoft�s Xbox Live. Microsoft is using Xbox Live�s paid subscription service as a core feature of its business. It already boasts 2 million members and 50 percent of Xbox 360 owners as subscribers.

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