Sony Says PlayStation Rewards Scheme "Not Ready to Roll Out" Yet
Only a select group of people will get to experience the PlayStation Rewards scheme. The invite-only beta closes down on Thursday, and Sony has stated that the program won't be launching in April. The company gave no notification of a later release. Beta participants received an email saying that PlayStation Rewards "is not ready to roll out to the public in April as originally planned" but will "continue to thank loyal and devoted customers [...] with innovative offerings."
The scheme has been running since October of last year, where based off three tiers (Select, Pro, and Legendary) determined by PlayStation Network usage, players were rewarded with content, themes, and other bonuses. Sony added in quests near the end of 2010 (small tasks on top of buying PlayStation Network content and participating in PlayStation Home events) to bolster the scheme.
A Sony representative told Joystiq that the company would be shifting their focus to PlayStation Plus, a $50 per year program that grants access to free games, early beta invites, discounts, and more: "We remain committed to providing the best overall consumer experience for our users, and we will be refocusing our efforts in the near future to further developing PlayStation Plus and our other network services."
The launch of PlayStation Rewards would have done Sony a lot of good considering the current system in use by Microsoft, where making a first purchase (you can only do it once, don't forget!) on the Xbox Live Marketplace awards users with a grand total of 100 Microsoft Points. Participating in "exclusive promotions" leads to "cool prizes," but I bet none of those have been a trip to the Consumer Electronics Show.