Sony said on Thursday the online service in its upcoming PlayStation 3 would let players compete and chat online and download games, music and movies.
Gamers have been waiting for months for Sony to release details of its online system.
Sony's PlayStation 2 has roughly 60 percent market share. But underdog Microsoft Corp. (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) has had a breakout hit with its Xbox Live online service on the next-generation Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 is the rival to Sony's PS3, which is set to debut in North America on Nov. 17.
The PlayStation Network, as the service will be called, uses a navigation system already available on Sony's handheld game player, the PlayStation Portable (PSP), Sony Computer Entertainment America said on Thursday.