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AOL Ladders To Reach GameCube

by Jonathan Metts - December 10, 2003, 9:21 am EST
Total comments: 6 Source: Reuters

Is this a hint of more online games in 2004?

According to a story by Reuters news agency, AOL's new online gaming "ladder" service will be serving GameCube users next year. The service is currently launching for the PS2 and is available free to AOL subscribers, or for about twenty bucks per month for everyone else.

AOL Ladders is based on the Case's Ladder service, which allows online players to find opponents, play each other, and then report the results of the game to a ranking server. The results are used to keep global rankings, so the best players will be recognized. In some services, the top players can even receive prizes. Ladder rankings have been used in online PC gaming and Xbox Live for years, while console games have sometimes replicated the concept through passwords that can be entered on a special website. Ikaruga for GameCube had just such a feature.

What's unusual about this announcement is the plan to support GameCube in 2004. Currently, the only GameCube title with confirmed online play is Phantasy Star Online III, which is not conducive to ladder rankings anyway. So, considering recent deals and plans for cooperation between Nintendo and AOL, this announcement could indicate that there are unannounced online titles being planned for GameCube in the coming year.

Thanks to nintendofan for the tip!


seven_chaosDecember 10, 2003

when u think about this. nintendo and aol teaming up doesn't sound right. nintendo wanted online gaming to be completely free and if they go with aol a lot of us that dont use them will have to pay 20 bucks a month. thats retarted. so perhaps they might have something up their sleeve but i dont think this will happen.

BoboThePenguinDecember 10, 2003

I hate aol.

vuduDecember 10, 2003

have you seen the new aol commercial with jerry stiller and snoop dogg? i nearly peed my pants the first time i saw it. but i agree, i'm not too fond of aol. their user interface is pretty decent, and they're good for people like my mom who aren't super proficient with computers, but there are much better (and cheaper) services out there.

BigJimDecember 10, 2003

Don't get confused. The big clue here was "GameCube" and "online" in the same sentence in PGC's story, but the actual news piece is about AOL's Ladder service.

This Ladder thing is an AOL service with AOL pricing. It's not a GameCube or PS2 service. You're not required to join or use AOL for PS2 online. You're not required to sign up for the Ladder service. And neither will be required for GameCube either. It's simply an add-on if you want it.

So don't get bent out of shape over AOL or the cost... unless you REALLY, REALLY wanted a free AOL-based Ladder service or something. Otherwise, there's no reason why anyone should care.

the_zombie_lukeDecember 10, 2003

Did you read the article? Why would anyone bother to bring this service to a system with only one online game now? I think more online games are coming.

Yes, and remember that you can't really even do ladder rankings with PSO. This service is designed for games that match up players directly, like many of the online titles for PS2.

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