Earlier in the week, I reported on a new initiative that Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) was rolling out called Qore. For those of you who are unaware, SCEA bills the service as a “highly interactive, monthly lifestyle gaming program covering theworld inside PLAYSTATION.”
So what does that mean to you, exactly? The service offers exclusive video previews of upcoming titles, exclusive access to betas, and exclusive additional content. This sounds great, doesn’t it? It would be great – if it were free. Yes, this service will cost you $2.99 a month, or you can buy an annual subscription to the service for $24.99.
While writing the news piece that detailed the upcoming service, I had to bite my tongue on my initial impressions. After all, Qore had not launched yet, and I hadn’t seen the service for myself at that point.
That’s all changed. Qore launched this Thursday, (after some fanfare with technical issues delaying the launch well into the night) and I have had a chance to review the content that you are being offered for your $2.99. Surprisingly, Qore hasn’t managed to surpass my already cynical expectations.
Let me detail what you’ll be getting:
Video previews of:
- SOCOM: Confrontation
- Soul Calibur IV
- Afro Samurai
- Secret Agent Clank
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
You’ll also be receiving an invitation to the SOCOM: Confrontation beta, although, it’ll be two-weeks later than if you put $5 down for a copy of SOCOM. I’m going to go out on a limb here, but this is the only reason that any rational being would drop his or her hard earned beer money down on this – and it’s two weeks later, so what’s the point? If you buy Qore because you want the SOCOM beta invite, you’re probably going to be a fan of the series, or at the very least want access two weeks earlier, so why spend three bucks on Qore when you can spend five on the pre-order? (Money that you can get back if you’re not pleased, as opposed to lining Sony’s pockets forever)
The video preview content is watchable, as expected, but it’s marketing material, plain and simple. If I were interested in these games in the first place, there are hundreds of sources on the internet where I can get the same basic material that Qore provides… for free. Hell, I can watch all of these video previews on YouTube already. The only real “exclusive” content is a SOCOM background theme (Which is easily worth $2.99, right?).
Apparently, Sony thought that these offenses to our intelligence weren’t enough. Qore offers an interactive menu, so you can choose the content that you want to watch, in the order that you want to watch it. That concept itself is fine. However, as you flip from say, the SOCOM interviews to the Soul Calibur IV/Afro Samurai segment, (or switch between any of the segments, for that matter) you have to watch an advertisement as you switch between them. Yes, you have to watch them – you can’t skip them!
In what bizarre world does Sony actually believe that we need to pay them to market to us? The video previews are glorified marketing materials, but to then add another additional layer of marketing into the marketing we paid for? Next time we’re offered to take a customer survey, are we going to have to pay them for the privilege of giving their marketing department information?
American Comedian Lewis Black, when talking about how corporations think we’re idiots, sums up my thoughts about this service best: “How dumb do they think we are? It’s as if they believe that we fell asleep on a nuclear reactor and our brains had melted…and we are now nothing more than meat with eyes.”
Qore is, without a doubt, the biggest waste of $3 ever envisioned. It is an offense against our intelligence and our common sense as human beings. Sony may rectify their service but from what has been provided so far, little more can be taken from the experience. It is up to you, the consumer, to not accept this.
Originally Written By: Art