Former Sony Entertainment President Chris Deering has recently dished out two pieces of fascinating gossip about Sony development for those interested in the "woulda, coulda, shoulda" points in the company's history. The first such program was a social networking platform for the PSOne ala Facebook or MySpace.
We had a secret test program in Europe back in 1997 on PSOne, running a black and white text-based, moderator-led community chat group with a special box called 'Net-Station' that hooked up PCs to the TV. Nick Parker ran it. The project codename was 'Moccasin 5'. I have no idea where it came from.
The second was a YouTube-esque video service for the PS2.
Then, at Sony Europe, we worked on a PS2 concept called 'Central Station' which was planned to stream its own PlayStation TV channel, back in 2002. This was four years ahead of YouTube. But uptake in broadband and wireless routers took longer to reach mass market levels than we expected, and we couldn't get other regions of the Sony PlayStation world to buy in.
These stories are reminiscent of Sony mentioning not too long ago that they had the technology for the iPod in the 90s, but didn't understand how to package it for consumers.
It just goes to show, success isn't just about having a great idea or the ability to pull it off. In many ways, timing really is everything. And I'm guessing that actually releasing the product has something to do with it too.
Sony beat Facebook... to Facebook [MCVUK]