Microsoft, Sony apply for top-level domains

Both Microsoft and Sony are trying to obtain top-level domain names for various brands, including Xbox and PlayStation. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has outed a variety of ultra-specific domain applications from major corporations, including ones from the two console manufacturers.

Joystiq reports that these domains would replace the current abbreviation model. Instead of visiting or, for example, you would visit a site that ends in .xbox or .playstation. And those are the very names that Microsoft and Sony have applied for, along with other branded names like ".live," ".bing," and ".windows" from Microsoft, and ".sony," and ".xperia" from Sony. The bids cost Microsoft and Sony $2.035 million and $555,000, respectively.

Microsoft and Sony are unlikely to have domain squatters, though. The URLs cost a minimum of $185,000 just for an evaluation. Applicants can object to others' claims too, so your sneaky plan to blow your life savings on ".vita" for a payday would probably just result in a lot of lost money. ICANN's evaluations are said to take up to 20 months, at which point we would assume we'll see companies using the easier branding for advertising purposes.