Qore Announcement: the aftermath

As this latest, and very interesting announcement is quickly spreading out across the internet, it is time to take stock and see what everyone’s reaction is.

The controversy
At the crux of this matter, is that fact that Sony wants you to pay for Qore. However in Sony’s defence is the fact that there is some pretty tasty content on offer:

Qore will feature exclusive news, developer interviews, in-depth game previews and behind-the-scenes looks at PlayStation games and special access to game demos, special beta invitations, game add-ons and other downloadable game-related content.

However I feel that such content should probably be free if the PlayStation Network is to compete effectively against Xbox Live. With Qore charging for content, there is a danger that the PlayStation Network will be a two-tier system.

Reactions
I will now round up a sample of Qore-related news to gauge reaction to Sony’s decision.

The Sixth Axis- Paid PSN Subscriptions Arrive
Attention-grabbing headline, but not strictly true. The majority of content on the PlayStation Network such as trailers and demos are free to access, with the exception of full games which of course, require payment. Let’s not forget that online gaming remains free. It just depends on how exclusive Qore’s content really is, and whether it will choke the rest of the PlayStation Store.

Qore

PS3 Fanboy- Sony reveals Qore – an interactive gaming program for the PSN
The article remains quite neutral throughout this article and doesn’t specifically comment on the cost. However there is some disappointing news in store.

There’s no word on whether this will be released outside of America, but we have contacted Sony Europe to get an answer either way. [UPDATE] Our SCEE rep has sadly informed us that “Qore is an SCEA only initiative at this time”. How disappointing.

That’s quite a blow, especially considering that Qore would probably be ‘almost’ perfect for the UK as well. I’m guessing it has something to do with the UK being part of Europe and the issue of localisation. We speak English too! Such archaic business practices make you want to scream.

Wired- Qore: New PS3 Online Mag Charges You For Game Demos
This article goes into quite a lot of detail about everything! Quite objective, and tells it like it is. Not really much to say apart from it compares the PlayStation Network against Xbox Live, which is interesting. The opinion for pricing is definitely worth a read though.

My only question is whether the value-add over what Sony was already providing for free justifies the minimum $25/year cost for the information. Although wrapping it in the very pretty package of an interactive magazine does make it seem a lot less like Sony is backpedaling on their stance of a largely free online environment, they’d be silly to release any really good demos, trailers, or interviews in the free section of PS3’s network from here on out — not when any halfway decent piece of content is another potential carrot to get users to pay them $3.

To conclude
The price issue is important to many people, with some agreeing to pay the $3 a month, and others who won’t pay it. The fact that only SCEA is running Qore and that SCEE isn’t a part of it is interesting. The US (heavily capitalist) market puts up with a lot more ads and subscriptions than the rest of the world, so maybe the launch of Qore in the US is Sony testing the waters. Who knows? Qore may appear in Europe and elsewhere in a slightly different format. The big question, is what if the European Store gets the demos and trailers that the Americans have to pay for, for free?

Very interesting.

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