Sony's Peter Edward • Page 3

A chat with the head of Home.

Eurogamer: Oh go on.

Peter Edward: The Second Life thing comes up quite a lot but I think it's a very different platform to ours. It's easy to make those comaprisons because they're both 3D, avatar-based virtual worlds. But Second Life is very much a PC experience, a solo experience.

There's much more of a wild west approach in terms of what's allowed to happen there - which is great, if that's what you're into. PlayStation Home gives you a more secure environment where it's impossible for someone to create their own animations and objects.

Eurogamer: So we're unlikely to see a brothel in Home? Not even a Red Bull-sponsored one?

Peter Edward: Haha! Well, who knows what might happen in the future... But we're very conscious of what people expect from Sony as a company and the sort of implicit trust people put in a brand like that. Second Life is more of an experimental platform really, where anything goes. That's one of its selling points. Home is more family-oriented, it's less of a solitary thing.

5

I hadn't seen this. Oh my life.

Eurogamer: What about something more wholesome, like a nudist camp?

Peter Edward: I'm not going to say yes to that, because then it'll be all 'Home developer discusses nudist colony'.

We have an age-rating system within Home, but at the moment if someone says they're over 18 that's because those are the details they've inputted. We have no way of knowing whether those details are true or not. Before we can be a hundred per cent certain of a person's age, things that are truly adult in content would be very difficult to approve.

Eurogamer: In the Q&A after your speech today, the issue of Europe's Home being behind other regions' was raised. Even community manager TedtheDog has admitted this is a problem. You said that localisation is an issue, but why does it cause such a big hold-up? Surely you can translate into the different EFIGS languages simultaneously?

Peter Edward: You can, but it is a big, complex job. It's not just a case of translating a text file and shoving it in. It also depends on where development started, because if it started in Europe development will tend to have localisation planned from day one. If it started elsewhere in the world it might get done later in the development cycle, which slows things down.

6

The Resistance 2 space, complete with ironic propaganda. And probably real propaganda.

Eurogamer: Why not at least give the UK the English-language content soon after it appears in the US? Surely that would only require minor tweaking? How come Americans can hang pictures off their hard drive on the wall of their Home apartment, and we can't?

Peter Edward: There are something like 29 PlayStation territories within PAL and 23 languages. There are different legal bodies governing those countries, individual legal requirements, ratings and boards... Anything that deals with moderation and copyright becomes massively complicated.

The issue with the picture frame stuff is yes, I can put my holiday snaps on there, lovely. But what if I put some copyrighted material up or worse? How do different countries require us to deal with that? That's were it gets complicated and slows down. It's being worked on and it's something the European guys do want to put out there.

Eurogamer: So is the gap between content arriving in Europe and the rest of the world going to narrow, or is it something we'll just have to live with?

Peter Edward: Clearly it's something we want to narrow. It's not a desirable situation for users or for us. It's something everybody wants to fix. As for how long that's going to take... The games industry generally has suffered from this issue for 20 years, so I don't think we're going to make instant progress. But everybody is working to make a difference.

Peter Edward is Home platform director at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.

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