Inside PLAYSTATION Network

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It has been a while since I last wrote on the blog. I’ve been looking to take the opportunity to talk about PLAYSTATION Network and thought today’s availability of the redesigned PLAYSTATION Store would be the perfect entry point to outline what we have planned for the broader PLAYSTATION Network this year.

First off, we’re excited about the new look and feel of the PLAYSTATION Store. Personally, I’ve been looking forward to this update for a long time as, in my view, the previous PLAYSTATION Store experience wasn’t one that lived up to our brand. But this new UI is much more dynamic and allows us to elegantly display and merchandise a lot more content, which is very important today, but will be critical going forward with so much great new content coming onto the Store. We look forward to hearing your input and reaction now that you’ve gotten your hands on it.

2008 is being called “the year of PlayStation 3” by a lot of press and analysts these days, and for good reason — there’s lots of momentum behind PS3 and we have a ton of great new exclusive games coming. This week’s launch of GT5 Prologue is one great example, and gamers are already in countdown mode for Metal Gear Solid 4, Little Big Planet, SOCOM, Resistance 2, and on and on. But another big reason 2008 will be a great year for PS3 fans is due to the big things we have in store this year for the PLAYSTATION Network. The PLAYSTATION Store redesign is the first step but it’s only one example. Our primary goal with PLAYSTATION Network is to form an evolving entertainment network where the PlayStation community can gather and discover new forms of entertainment. Some of the key pillars that will make this an experience a success are:

  • The PlayStation community;
  • Free online gaming;
  • Digital media download services; and
  • Original content

Of course, entertainment comes in the form of content, so I’ll dive in and discuss what we are bringing to PLAYSTATION Network that will help us achieve this goal.

One of the most critical elements to PLAYSTATION Network that we’ve focused on since day one is delivering quality games. We’ve always stressed quality over quantity (in other words, fewer arcade remakes and more original content) as well as games that show off PS3’s tech, and games like Everyday Shooter, Super Stardust HD and PixelJunk Monsters are proving that you can get a great experience for $10, or roughly the cost of a movie ticket. What’s equally exciting is what we have planned for you this year..of course one of those titles is available starting today- the world’s best-selling racing franchise, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. We also have coming this May the wildly imaginative puzzle-game echochrome, which frankly is a game I’ve been playing most lately. It’s as good as it looks in all the press you’ve been reading and is extremely addictive. We will also be bringing hugely popular franchises to PLAYSTATION Network for the first time, including SOCOM Confrontation and WipEout HD, as well as continue to deliver innovative indie games like flOwer, from the developers of flOw. So in short, content is what’s driving you, and we hear you loud and clear, and are delivering that quality that you want and deserve.

The strong lineup of games doesn’t stop there. Many of you have been hearing rumblings about a video service that will allow you to download full-length TV shows and movies via PLAYSTATION Network for North America. While I don’t have any new announcements here for the PlayStation Nation, it’s already been confirmed that we’ll be offering a video service for PS3 in a way that separates the service from others you’ve seen or used. Ultimately the goal of the PLAYSTATION Network service will be to break through the overwhelming clutter of digital media to give you the TV, movies and gaming content you want. More on this very soon …

Community-related services available via PlayStation Network have also been a big focus for enhancements here in 2008. We know you want in-game access to XMB features and we’re committed to bringing that, among other community-related services this year. They will be designed to allow more community development and collaborative gameplay, as well as recognize and reward you for your gameplay accomplishments across a broad portfolio of PS3 games. Of course, 2008 will also see the launch of PlayStation Home, and we’ll have more announcements on the expanding community functions within PLAYSTATION Network in the near future, so stay tuned.

Lastly, we feel your overall experience on PLAYSTATION Network should be rewarding. We hope the redesigned PLAYSTATION Store is a step in the right direction and delivers on your feedback, which is vital to some of the short and long term changes you’ll be seeing with PLAYSTATION Network. We understood from your comments on this very blog that you wanted the PLAYSTATION Store to have a more dynamic look and improved navigation. We want the PlayStation community to enjoy their experiences on PLAYSTATION Network and the online storefront is a key part of that experience.

And to wrap up with one of the many topics I know you ask about regularly, we are rolling out the PlayStation Cards to retailers nationwide as we speak. They will have the PlayStation Cards in denominations of $20 and $50 starting this spring. This will provide you with another option to get on board with the PLAYSTATION Store and enjoy the content that I’ve outlined above.

As you can tell, we’re extremely excited for what’s planned for PLAYSTATION Network. We believe the library of original and quality games and entertainment, combined with community services and continued enhancements to the overall experience, will deliver on our promise of an integrated content and community experiences. We look forward to sharing more updates with you in the near future.

Thanks and have fun!

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2 Author Replies

  • Excellent work people. Looking forward to the PSN cards thank you.

  • finally PSN cards!

  • Sony I feel like you know what the PS3 needs to be the #1 gaming and media platform however I think you lack the ability to find a way to get to that great place.You need to stop dragging your feet and get this ball rolling a little faster.

    I’m a huge fan of the playstation 3 but with all the missing functionality I and many others feel the playstation needs to be the greatest its very frustrating.

    I hope this makes sense.

  • My god some people are selfish around here eh?

    Remember SEGANet? Think of how primitive that was? Think before that, no such thing as Firmware, if you wanted an update to your machine, you had to wait for the next console. (or if you owned a PC, just go out and buy the next $100 vid card)

    point being, Sony is not a machine, its comprised of people. And people, can only do so much at once. Its impossible to tailor to absolutely EVERYONEs requests, and everyones got a different idea of what should be stuffed into something thats already a behemoth.

    If Sony says in-game XMB access is coming, ill believe it. And eagerly anticipate it.
    If Sony says the Cards are coming, ill believe it. (and they have)
    etc etc

    Patience is a virtue. To all those who favor Live at this point, dont bother, i own a 360 as well, and the service has been shaky, slow, and ultra-laggy since christmas, Microsoft just cant keep up with it.
    but ya know, i cant stop you from ditching and trading your PS3 in for an xbox360, all i can say is, i hope you like the color Red.
    heres a great idea, get both (if you can afford it that is)

    Ive been saying it since 2006, that 2008 will be Sonys year for the Playstation 3, and im glad my agelong prediction is actually going to come true.

    Right now, i cant be any happier with the black and chrome centerpiece of my entertainment area. Blu-Ray capabilities are always getting updated to be better, the console is constantly getting newer and useful features, etc etc

    Some things just require some patience, and its sad to see so many ritalin poppers going cold turkey, coming here, and yelling and screaming at Sony to do a better job.
    i think theyve done a stellar job, and things onyl get brighter from here.

    I updated to firmware 2.3 when i woke up this mornign andused the browser to download some demos and watch some videos. Very nice stuff. Cant wait to try out the new Blu-Ray features.

    I do request though, can we have native flash Player 9 support on the PS3 itself? as a Flash animator/programmer, i think being able to run .SWF files right from the XMB would do more than just provide some entertainment value.
    People could use their PS3 as a more mobile hi-definition presentation computer.
    not only that, but could garner some interesting indy game development for PS3 Flash games.
    Map the controller like this:
    D Pad = Arrow Keys respectively,
    X = SPACE, Square = Z, Triangle = X, Circle = C
    L1 = A, L2 = Q, R1 = S, R2 = W
    L3 = Ctrl, R3 = Enter

    technology is already there, just need a player to play the content, and a small guide to Flash Developers looking to make flash games accessible on the PS3. Transfer the SWFs via Memory Card!
    (or possible a filtered portal on the Playstation Store as free game downloads!)

    Just an idea, you can have it.

  • Very informative blog VP Dille. Keep up the great work.

    In regards to the images of the store, Im quite sure that will be fixed instantly very soon, so I won’t bother about it.

    I’m very pleased to hear the great news about the PSN cards, cos I don’t have a credit card.I’m quite certain that the introduction of these cards will boost the number of downloads from the store.

    Great store … Great work … looking forward to a greater playstation future.

  • @MUGEN02:

    Im not from PSN, but I know (or at least have a very good theory) of why its taking a while to load icons.

    The PS3 needs to cache all the icons locally in the hard drive, this means it has to download every single icon for everything on the store. Not multiply that by hundreds of thousands of people, it adds up. I would’nt be surprised if a lower bandwidth server is used to house the icon images so that the main store servers are free to process orders and transfer downloads.

    I doubt it would be like this during normal updates, the reason being that only a few things are added every week and thats just a handfull of icons that will be added.

  • @Littleronin:
    “Its great that you guys are doing this. But its sad that you are telling customers that have had issues streaming content recently due to firmware that broke a feature that there are no plans to fix it. So thank you for not only not fixing it, but just not giving a crap that you broke it.”

    MP4 streaming was fixed in the 2.30 update, even if it wasn’t documented. So… yeah.

  • You PlayStationNetwork folks should now make something where we can see all the people on playstation Network online and offline. Make in game XMB, because we do need it. And make Home faster, why does it takes more than 2 years to make all this things?


  • I love my ps3, but there is some problems with psn network. “We’ve always stressed quality over quantity (in other words, fewer arcade remakes and more original content)”.My personal opinion psn is lacking the content that other services are providing.Psn is getting content too far inbetween of other services. I like tetris,pacman, all type of old school games. Home needs a date!!!

  • Great post, thanks Peter. This style of honest communication with the community is exactly what people want. Just ignore some of the idiotic comments :)

    Can’t wait to see what’s in store for PSN this year.

  • Love the new PlayStation Store! It’s much more fluid, dynamic, and faster as you mentioned but the Store is struggling to load the thumbnails / icons. Hopefully this will be sorted out by Thursday. Great update Peter, thanks!

  • Peter, you and Sony rules!

    I lvoe the new store overall ( Except the icons and images seem to take long to load, but that could even be initail onlnie bugs, easy to kink out. The overall interface is great, SO fast! )

    This year is great for PS3 ( My wallet will beg other wise ;) ) Confirmation on In Game XMB and home are nice. I personally don’t mind the wait, AS LONG as we are told about things. You said you all know we want it and are on it: Good enough for me!

  • Glad the announcement about the cards is out…

  • So how do the psn cards work exactly? Buy one and use it up, can you add funds to it???

  • And what about the Playstation Store for MEXICO!!!?????


  • Finally a word on the PSN cards. Don’t care about the video service thingy. In fact I think the Playstation store should only be used for gaming. Lets not go into this whole “use the PS3 for a multimedia center” thing again. I don’t want a multimedia center to watch TV shows and movies on. I just want to play games.

    Also hope you guys are addressing these very slow loading thumbnails in the store. The store design and layout is great.

    The last thing is I hope you guys will start making first party developers that make your original PSN games do demos for all their original PSN games. Ever since I bought Pain and regretted it I won’t buy another original PSN game without playing a demo first.

  • Thanks for all of the hard work. I’m sure you’ve seen the payoff in how much us PS3 and PSP users spend on downloadable content. Thanks for the continued support. Hope you continue to roll out new features for the foreseeable future.

  • @64
    They are in 20/50$ dominations.You buy them,add to your wallet the amount.You can’t add money to them..They aren’t credit cards.

  • I hope I can buy a playstation card by May, that way I dont have to force my father to put his creidit card since he thinks they will steal his money.

  • How do you guys explain the lack of third party downloadable games? Xbox Live has a ton of those, and so will the Wii once Wiiware rolls out.

  • Awesome job on the new store! Icons slow as I’m sure you are aware. Can’t wait to see what you will do with the video service and PSP integration. I want Wipeout HD!!

  • FINALLY some info.

    Firstly, lets face it and not beat around the bush, the New design of the PSN is just a rip-off from the Singstar menu system, no problem, it was sweet.
    Secondly, the icons in the store don’t load…..or they are broken or load after 5 min…….this must be fixed as the old store, even if it didn’t look as good worked 20x better.
    Ingame XMB, was promised with FW 2.40, now you mention ‘this year’, could you be a little more specific????
    HOME??? this is going to be a while off i guess, if the store doesn’t even work properly how the hell are you going to get a whole online community up and running.
    And last but not least……Achievments/accomplishments or whatever, any news as to whay this will be, alot of speculation but no hard facts.

    Its a shame with the biggest game of 2008 GTA IV comin out in just 2 weeks that we have no online experience from the Sony side of things…i really hope things shift up a gear and that we you will stop with feeding us false information. I am still waiting for the FW which is packed with content instead of a few BlueRay updates. The battle has been won, now concentrate on the gaming side.

  • Make Home faster and in game XMB.
    Why does it takes too long to do this, like 2 years.

  • @MyWhiteNoise (Post 24) and anyone who read his remark about RGB FULL vs LIMITED for HDMI Users.

    THE CORRECT SETTING for this is LIMITED. The only time you use FULL is when you’re connecting your PS3 to a PC monitor. PC Monitors and TV’s decode grayscale differently. This includes TV’s that have a VGA input. This setting has to do with how grayscale is decoded and output. Setting this setting to FULL will crush the black level you see on your shiny HD screen. But if you can’t take my word for it do some reading at This is an audio and video science forum where hundreds of threads have posted on such topics. So despite that it says FULL and you think you’ve got all the great gear and FULL is what it should have it set at, think again. If you’re not pleased with the black levels you’re attaining then perhaps you should better adjust the brightness and white level of your television.

    @ SONY

    Thanks for all the great updates. The inclusion of DTS-HD with this firmware update is great! The new storefront is wonderful. I’m really excited for the future advancements heading our way this year. Keep up the good work!

    I would love to see better notifications when friends have sent me a message. Perhaps having the friends list re-order so that friends with new messages appear at the top of the list. Or perhaps something like most frequently contacted friends appear toward the top of the list, similar to the games category — the games you play most always at the top.

    Most excited about:
    Little Big Planet
    GT5P and GT5
    Jak and Daxter

  • Great! Now Sony can work on fixing the network so the online games aren’t gimped requiring the developer’s to release a myriad of patches just to make the game playable!

    Any idea when this will happen?

  • Well atleast we now now HOME is coming out in 2008.

  • NICELY SAID, Store looks awesome – Now gotta get back to in game….gaming.

  • I like the new store but i have prob in image loading its tooo slow ….

    i dont like eu store categorization its hard to find demos …..

    everyone is waiting for home we want news about it soon :)

    and YES its right 2008 is the year for ps3
    MGS4> Rfom2 > motorstorm pasifica ….

    but i want to see some new stuf about eight days getaway and killzone (eight daaayyyssss (its gonna be huge AWSOME ) )
    Thanks guys for everything
    YOU ROCK …

  • I agree that this post was well informed and addressed most issues with the PS3. I cannot wait for those PSN Cards! Good job SONY you guys are doing great! I love how you keep us up-to-date on alot of this stuff. :)

  • Yes! PlayStation Network Cards!

  • Thank you Sony! I wish we were kept more up-to-date like this frequently as many of us value our PS3s and the PSN so much, we are enthusiastic about its potential and want to know what Sony will be doing to make it even better!

    I cant wait till Home and other PSN features in the near future. The new store is definitely a step in the right direction and i hope Sony enhance more of the current features as well as adding great new ones.

  • Some of you guys need to calm down. Most onlne games on any console need a patch. Halo 2 did for Xbox live. Gears of War lagged at times with even 8 people only. COD4 has issues on 360 AND PS3. Vegas 2 had issues on both, but they were bigger on PS3 ( However they were fixed WITHOUT a patch. ) Be grateful that you can play games with 32 people, 40 people, and later 60 people without lag ( Dedicated servers are awesome right? ) for free.

  • I hope you also fixed the “overcharging bug” in the new store so canadians are not charged 25% to 33% more for those nice $2.99 add-ons. It’s sad to have to pay $4 for game when it’s $3 in the U.S., particularly coming from the same server when our $ is basically at par with the U.S….

    Otherwise, nice update!

  • Are PSN cards also coming to Europe?

  • “Deviation | April 15th, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    To continue on the Metal Gear Online debacle…

    We’re finally getting Home this year and we’re finally getting in-game XMB this year and what is perhaps the biggest game of 2008 for the Playstation 3 is finally coming out and it doesn’t even use any of Sony’s systems! What good will in-game XMB be if we can’t even invite people from our friends list to come play Metal Gear Online with us? We’ll all be using Konami IDs and Game IDs.

    It’s going to be hard for people to meet up together in Home and launch into a game of MGO together when MGO doesn’t even use their PSN IDs.

    So much for Playstation community.”

    WOW! is this really true or is he just yelling things out? I know about the Konami ID thing and I have made mine, but do we have to wait for Home to invite people from our firends list to play… Kojima wouldn’t do this right? :(

  • Definitely love the new layout of the store and the fact that it isn’t browser based anymore, so it is more responsive, did notice some slow

    loading of images but I can understand since it is the first day and everyone is probably trying to access it simultaneously.
    I do like how preview movies have been added to some games, I do hope in the future nearly all have this, even for PSone games. Sometimes it

    is just nice to see what it is all about right at the store. :)

    As far as things going from here, I do hope to see much more updates, and more games to download. Now that Crisis Core is out there has gotta

    be some demand for FF7, right? ;) Anyways, just hope to see more available each week and not just songs for Rock Band.

    Regarding PS3 firmware and function, I’d like to see more views added to view files, when you pop in a SD card or external hard drive with

    1000’s of files it is not even realistic to have them list one at a time, maybe a smaller font and the ability to jump down so many files or specify

    where to go or jump to a letter, just something to make it easier to get to files.
    Also with music it’d be nice, like it was mentioned above by mywhitenoise, to have folders, like the PSP does, so it is more consistent.
    For movies it’d be cool if you could manually zoom in or out, like we can do with photos, so we can cut it off where it looks best, and maybe an

    option to stretch it horizontally/vertically.
    A nice extra feature also regarding the time would be a like clock in the corner on the XMB screen and also visible when you are playing a game

    and you press the PS button.
    Oh, and more visualizations; one like the PS2 clock would be wicked!
    More flowing backgrounds would be cool too, for both PS3 and PSP, I just love real-time things like that, this goes for the visualizations as well,

    anything that shows off more of the power of the PS3, things like reflections, refractions, volume effects, etc. :D

    As far as PSP goes, I have one small thing first, I notice on the PS3 when you have 2 save files of the same game and you load it up, it puts the

    newest one at top but on the PSP it lists them like it appeared when saving, so the newest may be the lower one. Not a huge deal, and mainly

    just a preference but I like how the PS3 puts the newest at top.
    Another thing is an option to just view text of things like Save Files and Games on the Memory Stick instead of having it load and load the main

    image and then the bg, all I want is to see the main text and the text that gives me details on a save; this also for the PS3, and the option to turn

    off music it auto plays when it is selected.

    I’m sure I’ll think of more but I’ll start with this for now. :)

  • it seems as though the store has some trouble loading icons, it either takes a few mins. or it doesnt happen at all.


    I’ve only been asking for them since the blog was started, but I’m glad I’ll finally be able to purchase things off the store. Definitely glad to see that movies and tv shows are still planned for the network.

    Keep up the great work!

  • “…and reward you for your gameplay accomplishments across a broad portfolio of PS3 games…”

    so does that mean PS3’s equivalent (and probably better) answer to 360’s achievements? thats cool. hopefully comes out with or before Home.

  • Nice…Are the PSN cards coming to Canada??…..anyone

    • Yes, PlayStation Network Cards will be coming to Canadian retailers as well. We\’ll keep you updated on this here on the PlayStation.Blog.

  • Sorry about the formatting on my above message, I posted it in from notepad… lol

  • You guys rock! I hope you do a good job with the video download service. Please add FOX shows such as Family Guy and Terminator:The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
    P.S. Please reply and tell me more about the video service.

  • I was indifferent as far as the store redesign went. Now that I opened it up, took a look and left. It dose look nice. As for all the other stuff you mentioned. Broken record/ rewind record. :(

  • This is great news. Thank for for the update.

  • Cool, a few suggestions for further updates:

    > In game screenshots. This would be an amazing feature. It could be accessed via the PS-button menu. Watermarks of the game title and company could also be easily added to the screencap if there are any legal barriers.

    >More themes, icons, wallpapers. Especially themes. C’mon sony, they can’t be that hard to make.

  • Wow! So much is coming this year and I can’t wait!

  • Wow! I’m glad to here you touch on every subject that we PS3 guys have been waiting for. I really like the new store. The icons load slow sometimes but its no big deal, I know it will be improved. I glad to hear you talking about movie/television HD downloads. Do you think music downloads from the store are a possibility? I’m really looking forward to Home and in-game XMB. I can’t wait till you guys roll all this out. I’m can’t wait until Socom Confrontation comes out also. A lot of people have been waiting for those cards to so I’m sure those people are happy.

    Keep up the good work. Really liking how 2008 is looking. PeAcE

  • This year is going to be great for the PS3… as long as things don’t get delayed… AGAIN!

  • I’m sorry if this was already asked but I wanted to post this while I was near a computer.

    Can you give any information on if we’ll be getting a “Achievements”/”Gamerscore” type system. Yes or No would even be great.

    Also, I’m really tired of all the rumors and speculation on Home and beta. It would be cool if someone would make a post on the blog to give everyone some status. Let everyone ask questions and answer some as well.

    Just set the record straight on all of it. I’d rather know now if it’s coming or not.


  • Nice update. Now, could you please ditch the Thursday content releases? It’s ridiculous that MS can deliver content throughout the week and yet you refuse to. It’s particularly frustrating for Rock Band, where Xbox gamers get the songs on Tuesday.

    “of course one of those titles is available starting today- the world’s best-selling racing franchise, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue.”

    No, it’s not available. Stores are getting it tomorrow, and we’re stuck waiting for Thursday if we want to get it online.

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