Connected consoles might be the theme this year, but as the Wii and PS3 go on sale, their promised online services, including web browsing, aren’t fully up and running yet. Because the Xbox has been out a good long year, Xbox Live has the most features and services out of the three — except for web browsing. With the console wars in full roar, here’s a brief cheat sheet to which online capabilities are available for the consoles.
- Wi-Fi supports standard protocols
- USB 2.0 (two ports)
- LAN Adapter
Expected Online Services:
- WiiConnect24, automated download and update service; full availability TBD
- Virtual Console, game download service; service expected beginning January 2007
- Wii Channels, Nintendo-branded Internet portal with news, shopping; features expected to begin rolling out December 20; also comes with photo editing and avatar creation software, available now
Yes, via Opera (availability TBD)
- Wi-Fi (with Premium system only)
- USB 2.0
The PlayStation Network Platform, with matchmaking, and score ranking; upload and download services; friends list; text and voice-driven chat and messaging; subscription services and pay-to-download area.
Yes, browser comes installed with the system.
XBOX 360 ONLINE
- 100BASE-TX RJ45 ethernet port
- Wireless network adapter
Xbox Live, with content delivery, friend network, multimedia messaging, video/audio chat, microcurrency, reputation system, Live Marketplace for downloading video, games, etc.
No, but Microsoft is currently taking a user survey to determine desirability of that and other potential features.
Two-tiered service, Silver (free), Gold ($29.99 ESRP for 3 months, $59.99 ESRP for 12 months)