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Playstation Home- Savior of PS3?

Sony has recently revealed one of its newest online and FREE features for the Playstation 3. It's called "Home" and is basically a mix between Nintendo's Mii system, Xbox Live Achievements, and an open sandbox world. I guess it is all part of Sony's evolving online plans. The question is will anyone care? and can home help bring PS3 into the spotlight and back as the dominant console? If you know about Home already, you may want to skip a few paragraphs, but for those who don't, I'll describe its features to the best of my abilities.

Home is basically a virtual neighborhood. You start off by creating an avatar (like Nintendo's Mii system) and then are immersed in a virtual world. Sony truly offers next-gen customizations over the simplistic Wii approach (as seen in the provided pictures). You navigate this virtual world with your own personal PSP (kind of lame cross promotion if you ask me). You can use this PSP to visit the central lounge, which is a major hub for socializing. You can communicate via keyboard, emoticons, bluetooth headset, etc. There is also a Game lounge where you can play games such as bowling, retro arcade games, and pool with friends. Sony could of course release new content for that as well.

The next feature is your Apartment space...this is by far the coolest aspect of home (in my opinion) since it offers something entirely new to the online community but common in some sports titles. Your apartment your completely customizable. You can make a huge spacious luxury apartment, a contemporary ikea inspired space, or live in a poorer and messier lifestyle. Your friends can visit, talk strategy, launch multiplayer games, listen to music, etc. Other things home plans to offer is a Trophy Case- basically a rehash of Xbox Achievements, except you can display them in a virtual award. Sony plans on calling them Milestones. There's also a Theater which lets you get your Youtube on and I'm sure many other features I'm leaving out.

So here's my opinion on Sony's Home...they are definitely copying off their competitors, but are definitely improving on existing ideas. After learning about Home, I immediately was reminded of the Roman Empire and how it continually conquered people and stole the best of the culture and integrated it and made it their own. Sony is basically stealing the Mii idea and making it significantly better and way more immersive. I think the trophy case and milestones is a little bit of a lamer copy since it won't be completely integrated like Xbox Achievements. It's also nice that Home will be completely free...yes it will have advertisements in the world, but that's not so bad. I do think Home looks like an interesting concept that I definitely would play around with, so it's a good idea and looks to have a lot of polish and interesting content...will it save PS3? Hell no. Even though we live in a new age of Gaming where things are all integrating...Games still sell Game systems. Gears of War has sold Xboxes, Zelda and Wii sports have sold Wiis, Sonic sold Genesises, and Mario sold N64s, Gameboys, Nintendos...pretty much everything but Virtual Boys and Gamecubes. Great exclusive games mean that you have to own that system. Once you played Halo, you wanted an Xbox; you yearned for one. Sony needs to get some more exclusive games and some great ones at that to sell systems (Resistance isn't enough). Things are looking up for Sony though with Killzone returning to E3 this year, MotorStorm looking amazing, and the online component actually coming together. So while I think Home will not save PS3, I do think it helps. Exclusive software and content is the key to victory in the gaming world.


Huskyblack said...

"Home" would definitely help in promoting PS3, but it si too similar to Second life. Exept it seems you can't look like some fantasy creature :). I would rather by PS3 if there is some great game and is playable ONLY at PS3. At the moment there isn't anything that will force to buy it.

Gnade Games said...

My sentiments exactly