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Sony: We're no longer playing catch up with Xbox Live

SCEA director says it's doing a lot Microsoft isn't and dismisses App Store style PSP downloads that would lower quality

The PlayStation Network offers a lot of things Xbox Live doesn't and is no longer playing catch up with the Microsoft online service, according to Sony Computer Entertainment America's director of PSN Operations, Eric Lempel.

"I don't think there's a lot of 'catch up' [with XBL] any more. In some cases, I think we've got more, and we've got some other things they don't have," he said in an interview with Industry Gamers.

"In terms of strengths, of course we're still free, and we're giving you a lot for free. It's not just free online gaming, but we've got PlayStation Home, which is a massive community and application that's totally free to use.

"I think there's a lot we're doing that in some cases they're not doing, and I don't see a lot of things they're doing that we're not," he added.

Touching on the subject of the types of software that could be offered over PSN - specifically for the PSP - Lempel said the company didn't want to go down the same route as the App Store.

"Right now our free catalogue consists of demos, wallpapers, themes and videos about games. I don't think we want to degrade the experience you get from a PSP. Because [iPhone] is not a gaming-centric device, I think a user picks it up and says, 'This is kind of dumb, but I don't care because I know this device wasn't intended for games.'

"I want to make sure we uphold the quality of games on PSN; that doesn't mean they can't be shorter or quirky but we don't want to see a bunch of little things that don't quite make sense or provide a good experience because I think that takes away from what the device is intended for."

Lempel went on to say Sony has no immediate plans to offer a PlayStation 3 games-on-demand service similar to the one Microsoft unveiled for the Xbox 360 at this year's E3 due to the sheer size of its Blu-ray discs.

He also poured doubt on Microsoft's plans to let users stream films at 1080p, saying similar examples he's seen of this technology have produced results that are "a little grainy" and not on par with what the PlayStation 3 and big television can currently deliver.

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