Full Home Service Ready Within A "Reasonable Timeframe"
The innovative PlayStation Home online service for the PlayStation 3 should eventually become one of the biggest selling points for Sony's machine. The sheer number of possibilities it can offer, and the next-gen gamer's love of just about anything online, should pave the way to future success. And while Sony has yet to issue a launch date for the final, full service, they simply say the date "doesn't matter."
According to a MCV interview with SCE president Kaz Hirai, it seems we can expect the full version of Home to arrive within a "reasonable timeframe," but that it "ultimately doesn't matter." Basically, he believes it's going to completely satisfy consumers and even if Microsoft releases their improved online service before Home hits, Hirai says it "won't be able to compete." Said Hirai:
"I’d much rather make sure we take the time to have a great service rather than rush something into the market – only for consumers to say: 'This is not enough for me.' I want to avoid that. If we have the right service, it doesn’t matter when we launch – so long as it’s in a reasonable timeframe.
Whether our competitors decide to follow what we’ve done with Home or not follow us, that’s up to them. Given the fact that I’ve delayed the launch of Home twice – for which I’ve apologised – I think I’ve done it for a very good reason, and that’s because I want to bring the very best service possible to consumers around the world. We’re very confident in when we do launch the open Beta service, it’s something that will really resonate with the consumers."
Hirai further confirmed that the open beta, which has been labeled in the past as fully operational and something akin to the Gmail rollout, is still set for this fall. Therefore, even if it's not the whole package, PS3 owners will still be able to get their first look at PlayStation Home before 2008 is out. Let's hope it's everything Sony wants it to be!
7/24/2008 Ben Dutka