According to a memo acquired by Gamasutra, Sony has told their publishing partners that barring any unforeseen issues, the PlayStation Store will come back up on Tuesday, May 24th. The company will push the content that was scheduled to go live on April 26th on that day. Three days later, they will publish what was scheduled to go live on May 3rd, leading to pushes on the 31st and June 3rd for the rest of the content that was scheduled to go live on May 10th, 17th and 24th. Sony is letting publishers know that while they would like to keep their queue steady for these days, they are willing to move things around based on publisher urgency on a case-by-case basis. After the 3rd of June, the service is looking to go back to weekly releases.
SCEA’s Patrick Seybold commented to Industry Gamers that the date is “purely speculative”, and to stress that they haven’t announced a date.
The PlayStation Network came back up last week, supporting online play, trophies and social options.
Analysis: Sony has its’ backs against the wall on this one. They have to push content that was already delayed forward in some way to catch up, and this is about the only way to do that. Publishers are probably going to be pissed off about their content having only a few days at the top of the queue instead of a whole week, but in a sense, they’re bent over the barrel themselves. Sony still holds all the cards; it’s their service, their party, their guest list. Publishers – especially the smaller ones – are going to have to play their cards close to the vest on this one to avoid angering a company that can do great damage to their bottom line by either pushing their content to the bottom of the pile or not publishing it altogether.
I still believe the big damage to Sony is going to be when these publishing contracts are up. Sony’s lost a lot of goodwill, and when it comes to the Western side of the company, they aren’t even pretending to be sorry about it anymore. Once these companies are no longer reliant on Sony, they’re going to find other avenues to get their games out. That’s going to be a benefit to Microsoft, could be a benefit for Nintendo if the “Project Cafe” equivalent of the WiiWare store doesn’t suck, and will likely hurt the NGP and Xperia Play.