Sony doesn't often admit its faults, so when the PS3 platform holder shows some humility, we listen. The confession comes by way of Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida, who admits that his company dropped the ball when it came to offering a competitive online experience on the PS3.
"I think we were late to offer the platform-level support, to make the online functionality work at that level," spills Yoshida. "We made the prior decision that you do not introduce the common centralized network names into every experience, so publishers made their own. That was fine at the start, but as more and more games have online functionality you need a unified approach.
"So Microsoft took that approach in the last generation, and maybe that's where people see the difference when they compare Xbox Live and PSN."
Yoshida adds that Firmware 3.0 is a step toward improving the PS3's online offerings and centralizing the PlayStation Store as a big part of the experience. He also believes that Sony needs to look more into social networking integration, especially exploiting things like Facebook: "Something like 300 million people already have accounts on Facebook. Why should we ignore that?"
With a free service and a number of solid online games, the PS3 always had potential to be a dominant online force. Until Sony truly wakes up to that potential, however, it won't be realized. Hopefully the brains behind the PS3 are starting to wise up, but has "late" become "too late?"