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Dispelling the notion of tacked-on multiplayer

Michael Ormonde, Thunderbolt writes:

The current generation of consoles have introduced many features which we gamers now take for granted - HD graphics and achievements immediately spring to mind - but by far the feature that has shaped the course and direction of the video games industry more than any other is the introduction of out-of-the-box online play. Previously regarded as a bastion of those with high end PCs and a working knowledge of network protocols, the advent of Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, as well as the spread of broadband infrastructure, has lead to more than ever venturing online than ever before, vanquishing all in their path, from Bangkok to Berlin.

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