PS Home Misses Perfect Launch Window… And Broadside Of Barn

homelogoAs a follow up to our story ‘When Can We Expect Playstation Home?‘, it appears Sony/Qore have not only struck out… they didn’t even step up to the plate.

Full story inside.

This is only speculation and personal opinion, but man… I think the only reason this couldn’t or wouldn’t happen is that the software is simply not ready.

If that’s the case, maybe Sony reps should stop talking about a Christmas timeframe.

Prophetic words to close our previous look at Qore and the eternally-in-development Playstation Home.

In that article I laid out the best-case scenario for launching Playstation Home, leveraging consumer habits during holiday shopping season, using Home to lessen the impact of Microsoft’s XBox facelift, and to essentially ‘reboot’ marketing efforts for Sony’s leviathan.

We’ve seen Sony start the process, but as is often the case in this console generation, they failed to follow through.

Case in point: It was rumored that a Home Closed Beta invite was to be included with the November issue of Qore (the digital Playstation magazine available on PS3), but the rumor was later clarified to not include EVERYONE who purchased Qore… it was for annual subscribers only.

From a Playstation Underground Mass Mailing:

As an update to the PLAYSTATION(R)3 News email sent on Friday, October 24th, the special invitation to PlayStation(R)Home’s closed beta is available only to Qore annual subscribers who purchased subscriptions by 10/29. Qore Episode 06 purchasers will not be eligible for the special PlayStation(R)Home beta invitation at this time. We apologize for the miscommunication.

Funny thing is… Qore’s modus operandi has been to give subscribers an early peek into something that will shortly be available to the public. In this case we can assume they mean a 1 month, 2 week, or 1 week head start on Home before the general public gets to see it… unless what they REALLY mean is 48 hours of early access.

As of this writing, invitations have not been sent out to Qore subscribers.

A month preview is unlikely, and would put Sony right up to their ‘before Christmas’ promise. This means they would miss the shopping season entirely.

A two week preview isn’t much better, placing the public release AFTER Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving in the United States, the busiest shopping day of the year), and a one week preview STILL places the public release ON BLACK FRIDAY. Not much of a marketing boost there.

Missed is the opportunity for combating the New XBox Experience, another costly mistake.

Many sites are reporting that Sony is sending out 100k new beta invites to European users and an undisclosed number to U.S. users AS WE SPEAK, to stress test the system tonight (many are implying this means a launch next week is likely). These same sites are also reporting that this is unrelated to Qore subscribers.

Because of the holiday next week, Sony has made it clear that updates to the PS Store will be made on Wednesday. If they are going to launch before Black Friday, it’s going to happen on that day.

No invites for Qore subscribers today… not on a weekend… maybe on Monday?

Does this mean Qore subscribers get a 48 hour preview? I wouldn’t think Sony would be that insulting to paying customers, but I’ve been wrong before, and the history of community missteps surrounding the PS3, Home, and especially Qore, is starting to pile up… it could happen.

So the scenarios are like this:

  1. Home launches Wednesday (November  26) and Qore subscribers feel (rightfully) shafted.
  2. Home launches sometime before Christmas and Sony loses any marketing boost it was worth.
  3. Home launches next year, has less bugs, more features, and can be used to strengthen an otherwise weak quarter. (if it’s not ready, this would be the smart thing to do)

Personally I’d like to see:

  1. Home launches when it’s ready (feature complete, and sometime next Fall).
  2. An apology from Sony about getting everyone’s hopes up when Home was clearly not going to be ready. You know, a little honesty and humility.
  3. An option for prorated refunds for Qore subscribers who are tired of being told they are getting something special, then essentially getting nothing.

Yeah… I don’t believe in Santa Claus, and if he did exist, even he couldn’t deliver anything on my wish list.

PS: Who knows, maybe Qore users WILL get their invites tonight. When/If I get my Qore subsciption invite to the Home Beta… does anyone want it? I’m really not interested in playing ‘bug hunt’ with incomplete software anymore.

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