Sony on Wednesday launched a shooter title PlayStation 3 (PS3) users can play in an unprecedented blend of hard-core console and free casual gaming.
"No Man's Land" released on PlayStation Home network was billed by the Japanese entertainment and consumer electronics giant as a "first-of-its-kind" free-to-play multiperson shooter for videogame consoles.
Veteran developer VEEMEE tailored the game to capitalize on strengths of PS3 consoles and the Home network that is an online arena for players.
"VEEMEE saw a unique opportunity with PlayStation Home to evolve gaming by blending the immersive game play endemic to AAA games with the social and 'freemium' aspects of casual games," Sony said in a blog post.
Blockbuster console titles typically launch priced about $60 a copy while casual games played on smartphones, tablets or online social networks tend to be free with revenue generated by advertising or sales of in-game items or bonuses.
"No Man's Land" is set in a post-apocalyptic United States and lets players for teams to compete online in "time-tested kill-everything-that moves" death matches or to see who can salvage the most resources from the hostile land.
"Race through urban wastelands where chaos and disorder are ever-present, dodging enemy fire and exacting revenge on roaming bands of death-addicted warriors in a world gone mad," VEEMEE said in an online description of the game.
"Trust no one because it's not about who's right, it's about who's left."
Sony earlier this year began merging blockbuster console title action and popular free-to-play style gaming in its online community for PS3 users.
Sony Computer Entertainment America in March rolled out "Cutthroats: Battle for Black Powder Cove," which lets as many as 24 people at a time serve as gunners or captains of pirate ships out to sink one another in timed sessions.
"We truly think they are going to revolutionize freemium games on consoles," PS Home senior business manager Chris Mahoney told AFP at the time.
The videogame industry has been shaken up in recent years by the exploding popularity of online games that are free to play.
"When we look at gaming, we see hard-core experiences on one side of the spectrum and a more casual side with free-to-play type games," Mahoney said.
"We think that there is an area in between where you can blend together the best of both worlds."
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