Those meddling kids at Gameindustry.biz have pulled a Scooby-Doo, admirably snooping around Sony’s corporate site and unearthing more details on the company’s upcoming PlayStation Home social network. A PDF for Sony’s third-party developers reveals tons of details about the potentially industry-shaking service.
According to the document, the closed beta is scheduled to run from April to August, while the open beta will run from August through October. The company is aiming for a 500MB initial download. A Home Platform Group has been established by Sony to provide technology and direction, but third-party relations groups in each region will support the Home efforts of publishers and developers in their respective territories.
Over 70 questions are answered in the document. Here are some of the more pertinent and interesting answers.
“Q: What is the timeline for rollout?
Closed Beta (appx. 15,000 users): April – August
Open Beta (appx. 50,000 users): August – October
Service Live (50,000+): October
Q: How large is the download?
We’re aiming for the initial download to be under 500MB. Subsequent
downloads will hopefully integrate a streaming method that makes them
Q: How will publishers make money from it?
Initially we predict that the primary areas for generating revenues will come
from the following areas:
– Content purchases (e.g. avatar clothing and accessories)
– Content Auctions
Q: Will consumers be bombarded with advertising?
Advertising is a core revenue source for the publishers who will have to put a lot of resource and money into making the Home experience as fulfilling as it will be. As an offset to having to pay for the basic online service, and being able to enjoy the fundamental Home experience for free, some advertising is entirely reasonable. Advertising will be kept to palatable levels however. It is in no-one’s interests to cause users to leave Home through excessive advertising.
Q: Can I get media for my apartment from other devices such as PC?
Not yet; we are working on enabling this feature which is contingent upon firmware functionality.
Q: How will the DRM of purchased items work?
Home’s DRM system is based on the entitlements system which will be offered by the PSN.
Q: Can I earn money in Home?
As noted above, there will be eventually opportunities for user-to-user auctions.
Q: Can we use advertising within it?
Advertising will be a big part of Home. At first adverts will be fed through the Home advertising servers, but ultimately we may allow 3rd parties to integrate their own advertising engines into the service. Dynamic advertising will also be implemented, allowing us to direct specific targeted ads at particular users. “