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> It feels like it would be better if Sony and Microsoft created a "standard" for manufacturers to build to.

You're talking about two companies notorious for ignoring existing APIs and standards, coming up with their own proprietary systems, using marketing and FUD to knock down and strangle existing and emerging standards, and then spending the rest of their effort locking customers into their proprietary stuff. And they're not alone. It's the standard tech company mentality: Deliberately make your product different and incompatible with everyone else and compete instead of cooperate. Best case outcome is monopoly and customer lock-in. Most likely case is no one solution gains enough traction and you end up with 15 incompatible chat apps. Worst case is you emerge from the fight as HD-DVD.

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