August 14, 2007 - Speaking at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival, Peter Edward, head of the household for Sony's Home service, has revealed details about the company's plans to supervise the content and behavior of its residents. Users who are found to repeatedly cause a nuisance or offend others on the service risk not only being personally kicked out of Home, but their PlayStation 3 could be banned, as well. In these extreme cases, the user would have to purchase a new console in order to return Home.
According to gamesindustry.biz, Sony does not plan to actively police Home in Big Brother fashion. Instead, it will rely on a complaint system that allows users to formally register their grievances about another resident.
"If you really feel like you've been abused or that someone has just shown wholly inappropriate behavior then you are able to complain about it," Edward said. "If you really, really misbehave you can have your console disconnected at a machine level, so you would actually have to move house and buy a new PS3 before you could get online again.
"Clearly that's not something we would want to be doing very often but as a disincentive to mess round too much it's in our power.
"It's a hard line to draw because we don't want to be walking around telling everyone off for saying 'bloody' so we've got to strike a balance there. We're going to be relying on users assessing what's appropriate to them -- if they've been subject to behavior they don't like they can complain about it rather than we walk around as virtual police."
Edwards also said Sony will be placing age-appropriate ads on Home for products such as cigarettes and alcohol.
"Ultimately we know a user's details, we know machine details and we know where they live," said Edward. "It's relatively simple to be confident that somebody is over 18. So it's no problem to have areas that are only open to those aged 18 years and over. We are able to do that quite comprehensively, we have access to the log-in data that they use for the PlayStation Network.
"Undoubtedly there are going to be some things and some brands that we are not going to want to be involved in the environment at any stage. But a large proportion of our demographic is over 18 so we will make a point of catering to that demographic -- we certainly don't want to dumb everything down to the lowest common denominator."
Thanks to IGN.com for sharing the news with us!