The director of Sony's PlayStation Network has spoken out about the firm's plans for the rest of 2008, promising that Home's autumn launch “won’t be a 0.5 release” and stressing the company’s commitment to delivering a PS3 movie download service by the summer.
“The Home open beta is still on schedule for release later this fall,” Eric Lempel said in a recent interview.
There have been a number of delays on the release of Home, but the PSN boss wanted to make sure gamers knew that when it launched, it would be worth the wait.
Susan Panico, fellow PSN director, had previously described its rollout to be "similar to Gmail" in that it will function in an "open, working beta", and Lempel was quick to back that up - stressing the beta release will be representative of what the virtual world will have to offer, not some half-finished article.
"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.”
As for the recent news that Sony will be launching a PS3 movie download this summer, Lempel was careful not to comment on anything too juicy.
“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.”
Unfortunately, when questioned about service launch dates for Europe and Japan, he said he couldn’t “speak for the other regions at this time”.