So after all the delays and all the hype, Playstation Home is finally here well at least for some of us. Amid much fanfare Sony announced yesterday that Home would be available as an “Open Beta” starting today and wouldn’t you know it when I got home there it was right there above the Playstation Store. I downloaded the software and installed it and clicked the button to connect as I was excited to get my first look at PS Home. Then after taking a very long time to even load, it through an error (/HUBPS3_SVML/unity/eulaConfirm.jsp). I thought to myself I know there are a lot of people trying to get in and things happen so I tried again and this time the EULA actually popped up. I clicked circle to acknowledge I read it and was ready to go and then the same error before. That has happened everytime I have tried since then. I reached out to some of my other PS friends and they can’t get in either.
What does it mean? That millions of people are all trying to access Home, yes. More importantly that Sony was not ready, does not have the proper infrastructure or just didn’t choose to make it available, yes. If I am a Sony exec, I am freaking out right now. With the console wars as murky as they are right now, Sony couldn’t afford this misstep. I mean we talk about seeing this problem all the time but they just have to be better. If I am Sony, I know how many consoles I have sold, just a tad under 18 million. I am thinking that as a company we need to have enough capacity that if all 18 million people hit this thing we won’t miss a beat. I don’t know how they could underestimate the number of people who would hit this thing, even just to try it out. They have had to much time to prepare for this to have this happen. All I know is that somebody should be fired for this one.
I look at a game like Call of Duty, which on most days you can find anywhere between 60-90K players online at once. Now I know that this is much bigger than that but I mean how many servers do they have supporting COD? I don’t know but they understood worst case scenario and they planned accordingly. Sony is a global company with locations and datacenters all over the world, capacity is not the problem but rather failure to plan and deliver a mostly bug free debut. I mean even if once gamers got into Home they experienced problems that would be one thing, but if I am them I would say that under no circumstances should a player not be able to at least get into Home. With the initial problems of SOCOM, I am starting to think this is a problem with SCEA. They just consistently fail to hit the mark as far as QOS in the online arena.
Now of course Sony will hide behind the fact that this is an “Open Beta” and not production quality and that maybe so but if I was on the team I would be treating this like it was. I know they will fix it and by next week this may be a bad memory but one that gamers won’t forget. So once again Sony has gamers on the outside looking in and it is just ridiculous.
Update: So I finally got into Home about 830 last night. Inside of Home the performance was solid, I will write about my first impressions later just wanted to give an update, if you can get in keep trying and eventually you will. The key is to get in during non-peak hours, early in the morning or later at night. I would warrant a guess that for a few days between 5-9 its going to be near impossible to get into Home for a lot of people.