Consumers who consistently abuse the use of Sony’s forthcoming PlayStation Home service will be heavily reprimanded, potentially leading to the banning of their machines from connecting to the Internet, revealed Home director, Peter Edward this week.
Speaking at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival, Edward noted that such an action would effectively mean the user would "have to move house and buy a new PS3 before they could get online again. Ultimately we know a users details, we know machine details and we know where they live," he said.
"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," explained Edward. “If you really feel like you’ve been abused or that someone has just shown wholly inappropriate behaviour then you are able to complain about it. 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."
Edward highlighted that the company does not aim to pursue a “virtual police” mentality to flushing out abusers; as such, he stated that it is crucial users decide for themselves on the seriousness of any potentially disruptive behaviour, allowing them to then file a complaint if necessary.
“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”, he continued. “We’re going to be relying on users assessing what’s appropriate to them – if they’ve been subject to behaviour they don’t like they can complain about it rather than we walk around as virtual police."
Concluding, Edward stated that the company aims to include a number of environments that are specifically catered to the over-18 demographic; despite this, however, he observed that some particular brands or materials would not be included regardless of age.
"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," revealed Edward. "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," he concluded.
Stay tuned for more information on PlayStation Home as it becomes available.