The planned online service for the PlayStation 3 continues to take shape, with sources close to the Royal Bank of Scotland telling GamesIndustry.biz that the bank is working with Sony in the UK on trials of an online payment mechanism.
The deal between Sony and the RBS was signed last week, according to our source, with trials of the payment system due to start in May - which corresponds nicely with Sony's stated timeline for PS3 development, which sees them delivering a version of the Network Platform which can be used for final testing by September.
The payment system on the PSNP - a rather cumbersome acronym which is set to be replaced before the launch of the console, possibly with the internal development name, PlayStation HUB - is set to be used for a wide range of transactions.
Sony Computer Entertainment worldwide studios boss Phil Harrison outlined many of those uses in his keynote address at the Game Developer's Conference last month, including the Xbox Live style arcade and retro game downloads, additional content purchases for PS3 titles, subscriptions to massively multiplayer titles, and even buying in-game items through regulated "real money" auctions.
Further details of the PlayStation Network Platform are expected to be announced at E3 this year, when showcasing the PlayStation 3 is likely to be at the top of the agenda at Sony's pre-show conference on Monday, May 8th.