When Can We Expect Playstation Home?

Weeks of asking questions, poring through obscure blogs and forums…

I’m starting to see a pattern, and I’m prepared to make a guess.

Jump inside.

Some things we know:

Sony reps at Tokyo Game Show and yesterday’s Toronto Event have reiterated that Home Public Beta will be available ‘before Christmas’ in North America.

Kevin Furuichi on the Official Playstation Blog (forum post 10-07-08) stated:

We’re working on this for the current Extended Closed Beta. We are trying to get you guys into HOME before the official public beta.

We hope to have more information in about two weeks.

I don’t think there’s any doubt that Sony is gearing up a marketing blitz for the holidays, especially for ‘Black Friday’ here in the U.S. A keystone of that marketing campaign could easily be Playstation Home, with the tagline ‘Available Now’.

Having Home available to help sway holiday shoppers BEFORE Black Friday should be a priority for Sony.

With the word coming about Qore potentially having early access for subscribers, the resolute statements that Home will be available by Christmas, and the financial imperitive Sony faces for the holidays… I see this potential timeline:

  • November 5: Firmware 2.50 – Although it doesn’t INCLUDE Home, some of the framework for a mass rollout will be included.
  • November 6: Qore Episode 6 – Qore subscribers get early access to the upcoming Public Beta. Sony uses this as a smaller scale stress test.
  • November 20: Public Beta begins.
  • November 24: Marketing blitz begins with high profile ‘Home-centric’ advertisements.

Understanding that in this case ‘Public Beta’ means the unofficial launch of Home. I fully anticipate that Home will be in a constant state of upgrading, tweaking, and adding features. Go check GMail, Google Aps, or just about any Google branded software… they’ve been in public beta for years.

Public Beta will be Sony’s way of setting consumer expectation and deflecting criticism that the feature was launched in an incomplete state.

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.

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