Sony have a problem, or at least Sony Computer Entertainment Europe does. It’s a problem they’ve had for a long while, and one that constantly manages to erase any good will they manage to build up via things like PlayStation Plus.
I am, of course, talking about SCEE’s PSN updates, an issue that seems to have hounded them since the launch of SCEE’s chunk of PSN.
The problem, as I’m sure many of you know, is that games which arrive on the PSN in other regions can be missing from the European version for weeks or even months. English speakers seem the most annoyed by the whole situation, with games popping up on the US store seeming so close to accessible, although I can’t imagine anyone else is particularly pleased by the delays.[drop2]It seems that almost every time the store update is posted on the PSN blog it’s instantly hit by complaints of missing content.
They aren’t the type of sporadic complaints that crop up on just about everything that gets posted to the internet either, it’s always a fairly persistent level of dissent from a pretty significant chunk of the blog’s comments.
It really can’t be a fun job for those running the blog, especially given the amount of straight up abuse they get (something that would have had me resigning within weeks).
The latest complaints come about Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and the Walking Dead Episode 3, two games that have both appeared on the US PSN store but seem to have little information about when they’ll really make the leap over the Atlantic.
That is, in a nutshell, the problem: the lack of communication.
I’m not saying that if those running the EU PSN blog put out estimations and reasons behind the delays that there’d be wide spread love and adoration for delays, but it would be better than being left completely in the dark about when a game might arrive. Of course, the latest blog post did feature the following paragraph:
I know a lot of you were hoping for news on Counter Strike: Global Offensive but I’m afraid I’ve no new information to share today. Rest assured we’ll update you as soon as possible.
However, that’s almost worse than having no information about the delay at all. An acknowledgement that CS:GO isn’t there is something, but it’s still not like they’re really providing much information or insight into the problem.
That problem, or at least the typically suspected one, is localising it for the pretty huge number of countries and languages that SCEE covers. I can’t deny that it seems to be a big issue, and without an inside track I can’t tell you what they’re doing that Microsoft aren’t, or what Microsoft are doing to make everything, seemingly, run much smoother. However, at a glance at least, it does seem that they’re managing to put stuff out in a way that Sony simply aren’t.
Whilst in some ways it may seem like a minor problem for Sony, it really is going to start costing them as we move toward the release of a new generation of consoles. As a comment this week’s update rather simply puts it:
THIS IS A JOKE! My next console will be an XBOX! I prefer to pay to get online BUT HAVING ACCESS TO GAMES ON RELEASE, not even weeks after the rest!
This is something that our very own Peter pointed out when I was talking to him about this issue as well; if Sony don’t sort things out it really could drag down their sales in Europe.
How much could it damage their sales? I don’t know, but if SCEE fix their delays then brand loyalty might not be enough to keep selling as many consoles in Europe.