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Sony to introduce 'Qore,' a PlayStation video program

A behind-the-scenes news-magazine-like multimedia program available on the PlayStation Store will give PS3 users the ability to see the latest news about games and hear what developers have to say.

Sony on Tuesday said it will unveil on June 5 what it's calling Qore, a "highly interactive, monthly original program that covers the world inside PlayStation."

The idea is that Qore will offer anyone interested in the PlayStation universe a sort of peek behind the curtain at what's going on with the platform, with developers of PlayStation titles, and with the games themselves.

Unfortunately, Qore will not be broadcast to everyone. It will be available only through the official PlayStation Store, a shopping portal accessible via PlayStation 3s. Viewers who want to watch Qore will pay a $2.99 per-episode fee or they can subscribe for a year for $24.99.

According to Sony, Qore's content was designed to be interactive, offering viewers the ability to control the camera angles on much of what they watch or to look at the content with a picture-in-picture feature. They will also be presented with interactive ads.

The first episode features unseen content from upcoming PS3 games like SOCOM: US Navy SEALS Confrontation and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

Qore seems like a good idea in principle. Sony has had image problems during this generation of consoles, and its PS3 hasn't done nearly as well as it had hoped. So giving users the ability to get more inside information on what's going on with their console seems wise.

Except that I quibble with Sony's decision to limit Qore's viewership to those who can access it via the PlayStation Store, and to charge for the program. Wouldn't they get much more interest if anybody could watch it for free? To be sure, the program might have features that can only work on the PS3, but a scaled-down version available on some cable TV channel or on the Web would seem to be a great way to attract more people to the platform.

And I don't imagine too many people are going to migrate to the PlayStation platform just because of Qore.

I will admit the program is likely to bring in some revenue, but I can't imagine that it will be that much, and certainly not enough to stave off critics who say Sony is struggling and that the PS3 hasn't held up its end of the fiscal bargain. But make the show available to everyone, put some ads on it, and maybe they've got something.

Still, what do I know? Perhaps PS3 users will rush to fork over $2.99 an episode or $24.99 a year and Sony's fortunes will skyrocket.

But I doubt it. I really like the idea of this program because I think people always want a view of things they don't normally get to see. But asking them to pay for it is not a winning strategy to me.

On June 10, Geek Gestalt hits the highways for Road Trip 2008. I'll start in Orlando, Fla., and visit many of the South's most interesting destinations. Stay tuned, and be sure to keep up, both now and during the trip, with what I'm doing on Twitter.