Sony Delays PS3 'Home', Mum on Price Cuts

Sony said on Thursday it would postpone the launch of its "Home" virtual community service for its PlayStation 3 game console to early next year, the latest setback in its video game battle with Microsoft and Nintendo.

The 3D "Home" online service, in which players can create and own characters and content, was originally scheduled for launch this autumn.

Sony Computer Entertainment, the video game unit of Sony , said it had decided to postpone the launch to improve product quality.

In the keynote speech at the Tokyo Game Show 2007, Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) CEO Kazuo Hirai did not mention widely anticipated price cuts for the PS3, instead saying the firm plans to strengthen its software lineup to attract users.

As part of that effort, SCE, the video game division of Sony, said it has acquired British software developer Evolution Studios and its subsidiary, Bigbig Studios, for an undisclosed sum.

Evolution created "MotorStorm", a million seller title for the PS3.

Sony's PlayStation and PlayStation 2 dominated the global game industry for about a decade from the mid-1990s, but Sony was one year behind Microsoft in releasing its latest console. The PS3 has lagged far behind Nintendo's Wii in monthly sales due to a lack of hit game products and its high price.

On the hardware side, SCE said it would offer a new controller with a vibration function for the PS3.

The price for the new controller, which will become available in November in Japan and next spring in North America and Europe, was not immediately