Sony’s got its PR depart­ment work­ing over­time push­ing their new net­work for PS3, some­thing called Home.

To be hon­est I’m not a par­ti­san in the con­sole game wars. Handheld is DS, sure; set­top is a 360* and I plan to acquire a Wii even­tu­ally. But I don’t care about who makes the unit half as much as I care about the qual­ity of the titles avail­able and the engi­neer­ing of the device. That’s what really mat­ters, not the name on the shell.

So if I go the PS route at all, at this point it’s still gonna be lim­ited to a PS2. Why? Well, a few reasons.

  1. Economics. A PS2 costs $150. A PS3 costs $650 — and that’s Sony’s below-​​cost price. When they get real­is­tic about costs of man­u­fac­tur­ing, you can expect the console’s price tag to launch some­where toward the stratosphere.
  2. Practicality. For online gam­ing I have the Xbox, the DS and (even­tu­ally) the Wii. I don’t think I need yet-​​another-​​network-​​service to make my gam­ing more or bet­ter or bla bla bla.
  3. Technical real­ism. The PS2 game library is thou­sands of titles deep (and still grow­ing!) and most of the soft­ware should be fairly well debugged by now. PS3 won’t be near that for years.

But the biggest prob­lem I have with Sony is that they’re pan­ick­ing, and that is sim­ply not a good sign. Panicked com­pa­nies don’t release prod­ucts that have been rig­or­ously tested. Panicked com­pa­nies don’t release prod­ucts that have good sup­port. Panicked com­pa­nies release prod­ucts that most con­sumers regret purchasing.

Remember the Sega DreamCast? Hell — remem­ber Sega?

The PS3 was unde­ni­ably released far too soon in its devel­op­ment cycle. It has essen­tially no net­work sup­port now … and until Home is online, it will con­tinue to fail offer­ing an inte­grated expe­ri­ence à la its MS and Nintendo competition.

How much longer will that take? Home is sched­uled for roll­out in Fall of 2007.

Given Sony’s recent track record, I think we can be sure it’ll be another pre­ma­ture release.

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* It causes me phys­i­cal pain to admit that Microsoft released a prod­uct which doesn’t totally suck don­key balls, but there it is. The 360 is a damned good game console.

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