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

  • Love the new store and happier now the icons appear slightly quicker.

    I think we could do with a search by name or first letter facility on there as opposed to just trying to guess what genre a game is listed as.

  • @op2001 it takes over 30 seconds to load icons that used to load instantly in the old store.

    I swear people just didn’t know they could use the D-pad buttons to hop between hyperlinks in the old store (and the web browser in general) because the new store’s speed drives me nuts.

    When I click “new releases” I should see them right away. More importantly, I used to see the new releases and featured game links immediately when I opened the store and now I have to click something to get them.

    Sure, its prettier. Its also slower and a less efficient use of my time.

    Now if the store had been redesigned around the XMB like I mentioned before (post 305) or at least more well integrated into the system (like why do I have to leave the store to see my downloads list or to view a streaming video?) then I’d be more impressed. Personally, someone in marketing was paid way too much for this redesign and probably got a raise too.

    More of my opinions:

  • Not sure if this is the correct area to mention this, but here goes anyway:

    I have been using a credit card on my PSN account for some time now with no complications. Recently, I attempted to use another card and found that there is no option to add a second card if desired. Well, clearly a development mistake there…
    Could you please add this to a future firmware update? At least one person’s mind (that I know of) will be saved. If I didn’t already shave the dome, all the hair would have been pulled out by now.

    So, when I realized that I would be required to remove the original card to add another, I found myself with more issues.
    The second card wouldn’t accept. An error occurred suggesting that I’ve entered the information incorrectly (which I did not). I’ve used both cards on many occasions previously so I am quite sure they are fully functional.
    After a couple of attempts, I realized that there was no way I would be permitted to use this card without assistance. Obviously I would need to start from scratch. Replacing the original card, I again found problems. Now I’m receiving the same issue with this card as well. Physically containing the near bursting for head blood vessels, I contacted customer support (1-877-971-7669). They informed me that I would have to deactivate the account in “Account Management” and then reactivate to repair the settings.
    After performing this task, I am yet again frustrated with error messages. This time I receive a message stating “The task cannot be completed at this time, attempt again in a few minutes.” It’s evident that the next attempt was also unsuccessful as I continue to vent via the Playstation Blog. Moments away from using the PS3 as a Frisbee, I decided to leave it be and try again the next day after work.
    When I arrive home today I quickly boot the PS3 and try to resolve the issue again. Receiving the same error, I call customer support immediately, well…after letting out a few “F” bombs and showing the couch pillows who the boss is I mean.
    Now, as I wait and listen to the typical kill yourself jams of the automated answering service…I try to breathe correctly to calm the tremors in my right leg. Thoughts of my pro field goal kicker career seem to linger as the hamster wheel RPM continues to increase.
    The representative answers and I bust out with a King of the jungle roar….FINALLY!!!!
    At this point I am beyond control as my lady forces me to consume a Yager bomb to calm my nerves.
    Now here’s the major issue…
    SONY is unable to correct the issue due to poor construction of this particular area in the PSN. If you incorrectly enter the information three times, you are forced to wait a period no less than twenty-four hours before attempting again. As my lady applies band-aids to the burst vessels…I explain my anger in calm and collected voice (super proud of myself btw).
    I’m now forced to wait another 24 hours to the minute prior to my next attempt at repair. At this point much time has passed and I have no idea what that exact minute is…so I will wait…yep you guessed it, longer just in case.
    When I try once more, I have no idea if this will even work at all and perhaps I will find myself in this predicament again. I mean, I didn’t cause the issue the first time…all my information was in fact entered correctly. Yet, here I am with the only solution I was given. “Wait till tomorrow, try again, if it doesn’t work you’ll just have to call back or possibly wait till the following day because it locked you out for another twenty-four. Sorry sir that’s all I can say”.
    Well I’m sorry to say that this is SUPER GAY!
    Being a programmer myself, I am well aware that the implementation of code to allow for a reset option can be easily created. At the very least, the telephone representatives / technicians should have the option to help in this matter. This should never be left fully automated because issues such as this can arise.

    Hopefully someone will read this and think…lol we’d better fix this so we don’t have to endure another lengthy bunch of blah zeigh blah!

    Well that’s my Dennis Miller rant for the day; the blood flow has calmed for the moment.

    Thanks for reading and have a good day everyone! 


  • I would also like to point out that there is not nearly enough available PS store content. I realize that this has been mentioned before, but clearly not enough.
    If you are in fact working on this, please accept my apologies. I just feel that there should be fewer limits to the content available atm. There are so many things that could be added, and week after week only a handful of items are uploaded to the server. Every PS1 and PS2 game should be available, as well as any movie, trailer, or video created by Sony…Blu-Ray or otherwise. Not to mention more arcade classics as well, such as: MK3 Ultimate.
    The new store should also have movies and television content available for download or direct stream. Also, please add streaming video to the current still images shown on the PS Store. I realize that this will slow load times (which also currently needs work) depending on the individual connection, however; creating an option to enable / disable the video display would help to combat such an occurrence.
    Every gamer should be equipped with a high speed connection at this point anyhow to further assist the duel. For those of you who still use dial-up…WOW, are you serious? Not only are you missing out on a better online experience, but you are also disrupting the enjoyment of others. So, obviously it’s time to get with the times. I know you all are out there. If you can afford to purchase a PS3, surely you can opt for the more expensive but extremely more reliable high speed connection.

    I have high hopes for Sony’s intent to add these suggestions in the near future…among many others. I’ll keep every finger crossed that my suggestions will find their way into a board room containing capable individuals possessing the authority to make them reality.

    Thanks for taking the time to read my comment once again…and have a good day everyone!

  • I second that striplay. I believe that Sony will have more content the PSN. But, they need to be doing it now. ASAP! There is no need to wait until the next generation of console. It needs to be worked out this year, hopefully when Home comes this will be taken care of.

  • We’ve always stressed quality over quantity (in other words, fewer arcade remakes and more original content) In other words one PSN game every 6 months.OR Either other 3rd parties don’t want to put there games on the PSN.Nothing wrong with Arcade remakes.

  • Here I am venting again lol…
    Not sure if it’s just me, but while playing MKII on the PS3 I seem to find many issues. Often the games are way too slow, thus hindering a proper game play experience. Is this isolated to a personal issue or are there others out there with the same problem? I have an extremely fast connection which I pay extra for, so I am pretty sure that the situation is not due to that. Plus, no other game appears to have any such problem so…

    There are times lately though where a user will play against me and it’s almost like the game is in fast forward or something…the connection is very, very fast. This I am quite fond of. Now only if all the matches could be like this. Playing with a slower connection is irritating. My hands move too fast for this and moves often don’t work as a result. I should never have to wait to perform the next move. While the connection is in this “fast forward mode” I am easily able to play as I would expect. I realize that connection speed is partially due to user ISP, but that should be no excuse. It is possible to incorporate the correct help server side to compensate. So…Sony, please take this suggestion into consideration.

    Then there are other times where I am sure the opponent is cheating in some way. I can’t prove it but there are moves or situations that occur which I’m positive aren’t supposed to be possible in this game. Has anyone else experienced this as well? If so, does anyone know of a way to counteract this?

    I really enjoy playing MKII and am quite good at the game, however; it’s sometimes hard to believe that certain moves are accomplished so quickly. For example…I was playing this gamer who was using Liu Kang and Jax mostly…he / she was able to use the bicycle kick and ground punch multiple times simultaneously. How was this done? I know that it takes a moment or two to reset, (nothing to do with connection…hard coded) but this user appeared to have eliminated any waiting period. I mean, it was nonstop. An unfair advantage if you ask me. There are other examples but I trust you get the point. Does anyone think it’s possible for an individual to use a modified turbo controller on the PS3 yet? I know that on previous unit versions you could preset certain buttons to a specific function (eg. bicycle kick).

    The online lobby of Mortal Kombat II is also an issue. It’s poorly constructed and does not utilize the players met function of the XMB. Could someone please correct this? A room where you can chat and chose an opponent would be much more convenient than the current setting where you are only able to sit and wait. Also, while playing a game the user name should be posted above each power bar. Headsets should be compatible as well as virtual / physical key board function. Option to eradicate the time completely would also be beneficial for additional enjoyment…and if possible create options to increase / decrease damage received.

    This is a massively popular arcade video game franchise and would be much more respected on the PS3 if improvements were made. What an excellent example of how to show the PS3’s versatile nature which is in a class of its own. The Playstation 3 is a system capable of incorporating a fantastic game while improving it with an outstanding online experience. So I ask myself; what were the developers thinking while brainstorming in the boardrooms prior to implementation? It’s evident that my employment is required (hint, hint!). I wonder why they opted to simply add the basic of basics in regards to this game. If it were me, aside from adding all listed above, I would have attempted to incorporate all designed games as a bundle package, simply charging extra to compensate. Marketing is where it’s at, and if you utilize things correctly…even older games can accumulate popularity / revenue capable of competing with next gen gaming. I for one would obviously be willing to pay for any future improvements. To be honest, I love Mortal Kombat and anything that can be added to improve the experience would be much appreciated.

    Thanks for enduring my many posts; hopefully they will accomplish something positive in the near future.

    Have a nice day all!

    Sincerely: stri

  • will we be able to see some new content for elder scroll4 oblivion other that the shivering isles, because I’ve been waiting for a long time and i would like to finish playing it. somebody do something about this soon.

  • One last bit of news I’m looking forward to hearing. The release of the PS3 console with 45nm Cell Processor! Will it be released with the MGS4 80GB PS3 console? I’m looking forward to it’s release… since I’m terrible at turning things off and the 45nm Cell is 40% more energy effecient, and runs cooler… much like the current 65nm 40GB model was to the original 90nm 80GB version. Thanks, hoping for a hit at a release date so I can finally sink my teeth into a PS3!!!

  • Sorry, that should read “hint” at a release date of the 45nm Cell Processor above, not “hit.”

  • Great news for canadians!… just learned that you’re about to adjust prices… I was waiting for that to start buying stuff again! (even thought i did bought the variety map pack…)

    Thank’s Mr Peter Dille!… You’re my hero!

    Go Habs Go!

  • The PSN Cards are still not available in my area (Nor Cal)….

  • I’M very serious about this issue it’s been too long
    of a wait for any down loadable content for Elder scroll4 oblivion this is a Play station network topic
    and it needs to be addressed.I am a consumer with rights ,a right to demand that (SCEA) fix this drought of a lack of content for this game.(SCEA) can do all this bull crap but can’t do this simple task like this one , there are a lot of people playing this particular game for the PS3 and tired of waiting and will like to see more of what the game has to offer we are very aware of all the content that is out there, seems like Microsoft wins again in that department. so (SCEA) play station network do your costumer,fans ,gamers and your self a favor get the down loadable content for the game. and I’m not talking about the shivering isles cause thats already in the PS store. NEW STUFF

  • I’m going to make it simple and blunt as possible.
    Being ps3 fans, we get ragged on pretty hard for being an overpriced system. We lost a [DELETED] of more users due to the 360 getting GTA4.
    The ps3 lost many fans due to the delays of the system. Can’t you guys get it now? The more you guys postpone things/say you’ll do them but take too much time for them, the less users you’ll keep.

    Good ideas?
    Release Home. One and only trumph cards we had were this and GTAIV. We lost GTAIV. YOu want perfection for Home? Release it now, and let people put in what they want.
    EX paintball in home release or some sort of fps in it? It could be sold as content for home.

    Better Web Browser? I don’t know about others, but at 1080i, I still get parts of the browser cut. Not only that, the text is too small.

    Customizable font+font color. Need I say more? Bright Background=illegible text.

    The hell are the psn cards? Seriously, I have no problem dishing out money to download more hours to waste my life on. This also means i have no qualms about picking up that [DELETED] 360.

    In game xmb should be top of the list. The downloadable movies should come with the home full release. (If not earlier or in open beta.) I’d like to be able to play my songs on the ps3 while playing on ps3.

    Other than these things, and reinforcement on hurrying the hell up, gfj with the ps3 so far. The pricedrops and so such have helped out big time.

  • just for curiosity. are there any plans to change the PSN system to points instead of currency?? can i order US PSN cards from a website somewhere, i just move out from america last year.

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