More details about Sony's plans for the PS3 have been revealed by Sony Compuer Entertainment president Ken Kutaragi.
In an interview with PC Impress Watch, a Japanese technology website, Kutaragi said that basic online services would be free.
He also reiterated that Sony is committed to promoting the PS3's online capabilities, saying, "We really wanted to do this with the PS2. But now Apple has realised a successful e-distribution program, it's about time we made our move, too".
Sony does plan to charge for digital downloads, although the company has not yet revealed what media will be available to purchase apart from games.
Kutaragi has also predicted that digital downloads may render the hard drive obsolete in a few years: "If you have all the data on servers, you probably no longer need disk drives … but to do this, the server is crucial. It's a difficult problem".
Kutaragi's vision for the PS3 is that thousands of Cell processors could be combined into a Cell server. "This would allow us to maintain an entire cyberworld, as long as our power supply holds up."