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Sony: “Fully Robust” Home Coming This Fall July 5, 2008

Posted by Admin in Playstation Network.
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Sony’s PlayStation Network director lays out the firm’s 2008 roadmap, telling Next-Gen that Home’s fall launch “won’t be a 0.5 release” and reiterating the company’s commitment to delivering a PS3 movie download service this summer.

“The Home open beta is still on schedule for release later this fall,” Eric Lempel told us in a recent interview.

Having been delayed on a number of occasions, the PSN boss was keen to assure gamers that Home would be worth the long wait by promising a rich and full-bodied experience come launch later this year.

Referring to comments made last month by fellow PSN director Susan Panico, in which she said that Home’s “rollout will be similar to Gmail” and that it will function as an “open, working beta”, Lempel said that the online initiative, even in its initial public form, will not be some half-finished article but rather it will be representative of what the virtual world will ultimately offer.

“If you think about Gmail and Susan’s reference, Gmail when it launched in beta was a fully functional email service. I personally was using it and it offered everything you’d expect, but was in beta just to say that there’s more to come and maybe it’s not fully polished.

“The reason we’ve been delaying [Home] is so that we can deliver a high quality service that the users will enjoy. Even though it will be in beta, it will be a fair representation of what the service can be and its potential, so it won’t be a 0.5 release, it will be a fully robust service.”

Lempel also touched briefly on Sony’s recently confirmed plans to launch a PS3 movie download service this summer, although he wouldn’t be drawn into commenting on launch dates or content details.

“I don’t have any more specifics right now, but like Kaz [Hirai] said, it will go live [in the US] this summer and I think it will offer consumers everything they’re looking for from us. It will offer everything they expect from us and probably a little bit more.”

Asked about a service launch date for Europe and Japan, Lempel said that he couldn’t “speak for the other regions at this time”.

He also declined to discuss the possibility of downloaded PS3 movies being transferable to PSP, reports that Sony has yet to secure any movie content deals with third parties, or whether the company is planning to offer TV and music content over the PlayStation Network alongside films.

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