Spring 2008 you will all be experiencing Home. Well, not so fast. A press release has passed on the bad news that Home will be delayed until Fall 2008. The Closed Beta has been extended through the Summer as well. Disappointed? Yea, me too. But it isn’t all bad. Sony plans to expand the number of testers in the Closed Beta. Exact details regarding the registration process have yet to be revealed. At least there is a silver lining to this cloud.
Now for some opinion on this topic. I don’t find the timing of this information to be too strange following the events of Konami’s Metal Gear Online Beta. The sheer amount of demand set the beta back 4 days. That is with Restricted Betas in the U.S. and Japan, coinciding with an Open Beta in Europe. The servers simply couldn’t handle the demand and now everyone is disappointed and if you check the US Boards, many are plain pissed off.
Could you imagine if this happened with Home? Due to Home being PLAYSTATION’s wild card, you would not want to have this same type of experience for the user. It is far easier for a game to recover from this type of problem, look at World of Warcraft, but Home isn’t a game. Home is a service. Being a service, the amount of time and hype behind the project, and millions of gamers waiting impatiently for it means that Home must not only launch as near flawlessly as possible, but must meet or exceed expectations. Is Sony capable of doing this? Yes. Are you willing to wait to see this happen?
I hope that this is the final delay for this much anticipated service. I was one of the many that were hoping that Home would see the light of day this Spring. My avatar was going to love that Bravia. I also planned on throwing amazing parties. I still do. Don’t let your disappointment keep you from enjoying all the PS3 currently has to offer in addition to what is coming.
This leaves me with one final question. I wonder what the topic is going to be at this rumored event on May 6th in London? I’m not saying that it can’t be about Home, but….considering the news it may not necessarily be the star of the show. Then again, maybe we’ll find out how to join this expanded Beta.
P.S. Remember some months ago when it was stated that Home wouldn’t have a hard launch? Well expanding the beta is definitely going to allow for this type of thing to take place. Hopefully this and all your questions will be answered soon.
Thanks for reading.
April 21, 2008 – Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. announced today that it will expand the Closed Beta testing for PLAYSTATION Home in Summer 2008, inviting a further number of registrants from the PLAYSTATION 3 (PS3) users. Following completion of the Expanded Closed Beta test, the PLAYSTATION Home Open Beta service will commence in Fall 2008.
“We understand that we are asking PS3 and prospective PS3 users to wait a bit longer, but we have come to the conclusion that we need more time to refine the service to ensure a more focused gaming entertainment experience than what it is today,” said Kazuo Hirai, President and Group CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. “Our overarching objective is to provide users with new gaming experiences that are available only on PLAYSTATION Home. Spending more time on the development and on the Closed Beta testing reaffirms our commitment to bringing a quality service, maintaining the PlayStation tradition.”
The PLAYSTATION Home Open Beta service that will become available in Fall 2008 will be built around providing new and fun community gaming experiences.
Details of the Closed Beta testing features, registration for the test and the opening of the service will be announced as they become available.
About PLAYSTATION Home
PLAYSTATION Home is the visual representation of the PlayStation community. It is an evolving online social gaming service built for PS3 users to meet and share gaming experiences.