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PlayStation Network, often abbreviated as PSN, is an online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery service provided/run by Sony Computer Entertainment for use with the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation Vita video game consoles. The PlayStation Network is the video game portion of the Sony Entertainment Network.
Sony's second console, the PlayStation 2, had a limited number of online features in select games via its online network. It required a Network Adaptor, which was available as an add-on for original models, and integrated into the hardware on slimline models. However, Sony provided no unified online service for the system, so support for network features was specific to each game and there was no interoperability of cross-game presence.
In March 2006, Sony announced the online network for its upcoming PlayStation 3 system at the 2006 PlayStation Business Briefing meeting in Tokyo, Japan, tentatively named "PlayStation Network Platform". Sony also stated that the service would always be connected, free, and include multiplayer support. The full list of features available at launch was announced at their TGS 2006 press conference. When the network
Xbox Live (trademarked as Xbox LIVE) is an online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery service created and operated by Microsoft Corporation. It is currently the only online gaming service on consoles that charges users a fee to play multiplayer gaming. It was first made available to the Xbox system in November 2002. An updated version of the service became available for the Xbox 360 console at that system's launch in September 2005, and is a competitor of Sony's PlayStation Network and Nintendo's relatively-new Nintendo Network.
The service was extended in 2007 on the Windows platform, named Games for Windows – Live, which makes most aspects of the system available on Windows computers. Microsoft has announced plans to extend Live to other platforms such as handhelds and mobile phones as part of the Live Anywhere initiative. With Microsoft's new mobile operating system, Windows Phone, full Xbox Live functionality is integrated into new Windows Phones that launched since late 2010. The service shut down for the original Xbox in May 2010.
The Xbox Live service is available as both a free and subscription-based service, known as Xbox Live Free and Xbox Live Gold
Play65 is an online backgammon operator established in 2004 by an Israeli-based company, SkillEmpire, that hosts real-time backgammon games and tournaments. With its client software available in 21 languages, including English, Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, etc. Play65 has more than 5,000,000 registered players, making it one of the biggest backgammon communities online. Play65 is licensed by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC).
Play65 allows two types of backgammon play: play money, where players are using virtual credit that is of no real value; and real money, where actual deposits are required and real money is at stake with each game or match. There are many ways to deposit for real money play, including by credit card, PayPal, and Moneybookers.
As with other similar online gaming services, Play65 uses a pseudorandom number generator for producing dice rolls. The company provides documentation to indicate that the algorithm produces adequately random results.
Play65's backgammon client is freeware. Users can play real-time online backgammon games against thousands of players from around the world. Since November 2006, Mac, Linux, and PDA users can use Play65's
Steam is a digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications platform developed by Valve Corporation. It is used to distribute games and related media online, from small independent developers to larger software houses; in October 2012, Valve expanded the service to include non-gaming software. Steam provides the user with installation and automatic management of software across multiple computers, community features such as friends lists and groups, cloud saving, and in-game voice and chat functionality. The software provides a freely available application programming interface, Steamworks, that developers can take advantage of to integrate many of Steam's functions within their software products, including copy protection, networking and matchmaking, in-game achievements and micro-transactions, and support for user-created content through Steam Workshop. Though initially developed for use on Microsoft Windows, the client has expanded to include a Mac OS X version and a pending port to Linux, and clients with limited functionality on the PlayStation 3 console and for both iOS and Android mobile devices. In addition to be a central hub for gaming