PS3 Home Launches Tomorrow… Can it Compete with XBL?

Sony will launch the beta version of PlayStation Home, its long-awaited PS 3 online service, beginning tomorrow.

PS Home would appear to be Sony’s long-overdue riposte to Microsoft’s popular Xbox Live service, which has been building a strong user base since the days of the original Xbox. Home takes a decidely different approach to its user interface, however. The service will function as a virtual 3D world along the lines of Second Life. Users will have individual avatars as well as personal spaces called "apartments" which can be decorated.

A company press release describes Home as:

…a ground-breaking 3D social gaming community available on PS3 that allows users to interact, communicate and share gaming experiences… Within PlayStation Home, users can create and customize their own unique avatars and explore the virtual community in real time where they can communicate freely through text or voice chat.

 

PlayStation Home users will not only be able to enjoy variety of entertainment content such as mini-games, videos and special events along with their friends, but will also be able to create their own community by using the “Club2” feature to create clubs with other PlayStation Home users who share the same interests. PlayStation Home also allows groups of users to launch directly into their favourite online games together from PlayStation Home.

VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi, who participated in Home’s closed beta, writes:

Home is different from Second Life and World of Warcraft. Unlike those fully-built worlds, Home isn’t really a world. It’s more like a series of virtual spaces. If you want to visit your own personal apartment, where no one can visit without your permission, then you teleport there. If you want to go to the central plaza, you teleport there. Same goes for the bowling alley or the bar from the game Uncharted. You’re free to decorate your home as you wish. If you want to listen to music, you can walk up to a jukebox…

In the movie theater, you can go into a room and see what’s playing. You can actually watch that movie with your avatar in a social setting, making comments about it that others in the theater can see. That turns movie-watching into an online social experience. There is a profanity filter, and Home will be compliant with the PS 3’s own parental controls.

GP: The Home launch is a critical step for Sony and the PS3. Let’s hope that they get it right. However, as a PS3 owner who tries to stay optimistic (Sony doesn’t make this easy), I am concerned about the PS Home press release (I’m looking at the SCEE version), which devotes several paragraphs to the marketing of virtual crap for avatars. For example:

Thanks to Diesel, avatars can look great from the start with Diesel offering the latest men’s and women’s designer avatar clothing, with items ranging from free of charge to €1.50…

PlayStation®Home gives everyone their own apartment to spend time in and entertain friends – who will now be able relax on exclusive Ligne Roset furniture. At the virtual store, people will be able to choose from a selection of the most popular Ligne Roset designs…

 

A selection of virtual Watchmen merchandise e.g. T-Shirts with the smiley face logo, Doomsday clocks and character statues, will also be available in the New Year…

Meh.

XBL got it right by making an easy-to-use, pleasant gaming environment. Sony really needs to focus on its core gamers with PS Home. Everything else is just a distraction.

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81 comments

  1. Ragnaar says:

    I also noticed the lack of commenting on the game spaces.  Uncharted and Farcry are out with Warhawk and a couple others no doubt along the way.  It’ll be interesting to see what developers come up with for game spaces.

    Nevertheless, Home still has a LONG way to go… which is why it’s still being labeled "beta."  More bowling lanes, pool tables, chess tables, etc. will definitely be needed as people wait in line for just a handful of spots.

    The mini-games are pretty good… great way to get weird junk too… especially the Echochrome stuff.

    I haven’t been able to log into Home today… so we’ll see what changes to the Central Plaza and other places they’ve made… I’ll have to wait until after work.

  2. foolkiller79 says:

    I have to say that this is the first time that I have had to wonder if GP was throwing out troll bait.  But that is because this article seems to be innaccurate.

    Home does not compete with XBL.  PSN competes with XBL.  Not as well as I would like, but it does.  Nothing I have seen on the 360 would be considered a social networking application, which is what Home is.  Granted the 360 works a lot better at social interaction while gaming in general.  So, perhaps you could say it is another aspect of the PSN to help compete with XBL. 

    And it seems that people keep forgetting that you do not have to use Home.  It is an option, not an involuntary change to your user interface.  If it doesn’t even seem appealing to you it won’t even take up space on your hard drive.  The way people make it sound you would think it was equivelant to Second Life replacing Windows or something. 

    I am truly surprised to see GP complaining about voluntary microtransactions in such a harsh way.  They are voluntary vanity purchases, and nothing more.  None of these purchases will affect the actual gameplay (for lack of a better term) in Home.  You can never pay a dime and still use its basic functionality of meeting up with people, launching into games, and playing mini-games.  I mean, is it really that troubling that Sony recognizes some people will pay for worthless crap and set up a system to allow them to do that, while keeping all their base features free?  I mean, it isn’t like they are making you pay just to use a required service.

    Personally, unless some of the mini-games are fun or I am trying to meet up with people I already know I doubt I will use Home much.  I am not big on social networking, and have no clue why my wife loves Facebook.  It is pointless for my needs, but that doesn’t mean I am going to hate on it before it even comes out fully.  I was in the closed beta and I am still reserving judgment until I see the full thing today.

  3. State says:

    Thats what seperates itself from Home.  While Home can cater to just you, you’ll feel obligated to show it off to friends and such…and start wanting to hang out with them virtually…and eventually start paying for clothing and junk that makes you feel like you.  this should just be like a seperate game.

    It is a separate game, most people won’t even realise that it exists as it is discreetly put in a menu (like the PSN shop etc), unlike the NXE which is mandatory. Sony aren’t forcing people to have Home, rather it is an optional extra. After being on the closed beta I saw more use for it than the 360 avatar system. For MS to criticise Home as being outdated is rather hypocritical as their NXE doesn’t add much to what existed before.

    The PS3 experience doesn’t change after Home whereas the 360 experience does after the NXE update.

  4. Nocturne says:

    I am concerned about the PS Home press release (I’m looking at the SCEE version), which devotes several paragraphs to the marketing of virtual crap for avatars.

    MS have been screwing us for gamerpics and themes for ages, guess Sony saw the pie and wanted a piece. At least anything you want will be charged in real money, not MS Monopoly notes.

  5. finaleve says:

    So its a virtual myspace…

    And here I though Home was going to be something worthy.

     

    I know the 360 avatar update was okay, and right now feels much better than Home.  It’s only mandatory to make one but even then you can just pick a premade one.  The Avatars is just there for you.  You aren’t catering to everyone or something like that…just you.  The only thing it lacked was custom colors… 

    Thats what seperates itself from Home.  While Home can cater to just you, you’ll feel obligated to show it off to friends and such…and start wanting to hang out with them virtually…and eventually start paying for clothing and junk that makes you feel like you.  this should just be like a seperate game.

  6. ZippyDSMlee says:

    The 360 for all intensive perpouses is todays PS2, while the PS3 is more like the Xbox limited due to devs and price, the WII is in its own world ruling over the other 2. The reason I call the 360 the PS2 of today it has the most "whole games" on it pushes alot of software…even if its not quite as much as the WII but the WII is a phenomenon thats become its own fad it really needs another year or 2 to grow its library to become more than the N64 was at least IMO its a great lil system but very quirky  the PS360 are more traditional systems but due to production focus have lost much ground.

    I am not thrilled or fond of this 7th generation of gaming its like a rebeling shallow twenty something who lost 60 IQpoints from a smart and witty 16yr to a trned chasing mindless tween in thier 2x’s….. I can only hope the 8th generation will be out of rehab and cleaned up…

    =================================
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    ———————————
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

  7. Aliasalpha says:

    And it’s sure to be a popular hangout for terrorists or somehow be responsible for the downfall of society one of these days

  8. mootyslayer says:

    I tried the beta for it and it seemed pretty cool. But I doubt I will spend much time using the program.

    It does remind me of a program I used many years ago when I was a Teenager. My mom was using it to meet people. It was similiar in the fact that you walked around in different 3d rooms and talked to people from around the world. I think she met my stepdad on it. Home seems like a updated version to that. So I would not say its so groundbreaking.

    I have bets going with some friends that eventually it will be in the news that some kids are going to be caught playing the game but using it for purposes other then just chatting. Cybersex or people going after children. And the complaints will raise about the evils of video games.

  9. Father Time says:

    That’s what I meant a fully functioning pool table, although I’d only pay a quarter because I’m currently broke. I guess $5 would be ok if I had the money.

    —————————————————-

    "What for you bury me in the cold cold ground?" – Tasmanian devil

  10. Father Time says:

    Time named home in the top ten gadgets of 2008 (at number 10).

    http://www.time.com/time/specials/2008/top10/article/0,30583,1855948_1863825_1863820,00.html

    Anyway I really don’t see the point of Sony charging us money for things, I mean it better be cheap, like a quarter for a pool table you put in your house cheap.

    Here’s hoping it’s great and doesn’t nickel and dime us too much.

    —————————————————-

    "What for you bury me in the cold cold ground?" – Tasmanian devil

  11. Zen says:

    In your case I would agree completely.  We play the Wii a bunch in the house since the Gamecube is in my office, I just need to pull the game and memory card and walk into the living room with the big screen HDTV and surround sound to enjoy it with the family.  I can do the same, to a point, with the PS3 adn Xbox360, but not without some hastle on both parts and extra equipment.  Playing thru Beyond Good & Evil for GCN at the moment.  But if you do get a Wii, for your own sake, buy Zak and Wiki.  Underappreciated and hillarious game.  Plus we can swap friend codes if you like. 

    Zen aka Jeremy Powers
    Panama City, Fl.
    Zen@Zenspath.com
    Xbox Live: "Zen of the Dark", PSN: "Zenspath", Wii Friend Code: "4919 8280 4221 9114"

  12. Ashkihyena says:

    This really doesn’t matter to me since I don’t own a PS3, the lack of any backwards compatablity was a huge turn off.

  13. E. Zachary Knight says:

    I am intrigued by LBP. But it is not enough to make me want to get one. There aren’t really any other games I would seriously buy. I don’t have an HDTV so Blu-ray isn’t a selling point. So why pay $400-500 to play my PS2 games?

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
    Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091


    E. Zachary Knight
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  14. Zen says:

    I boughy mine because of MGS4 and Little Big Planet…both of which took forever and were delayed after I paid for the system.  I do like that I have backwards compatibility though since I just play my PS2 games on it most of the time. (I need to finish Final Fantasy XII lol).

    Zen aka Jeremy Powers
    Panama City, Fl.
    Zen@Zenspath.com
    Xbox Live: "Zen of the Dark", PSN: "Zenspath"

  15. TJLK says:

    It sounds a bit like Cybertown really.  I havn’t read if they let you create your own 3-D objects or not(I doubt it) but if they do it might be nearly exactly like Cybertown.

  16. Zen says:

    I wouldn’t call them dead per say.  I have all three of the new systems, and will admit that the PS3 is the least played except for music and movies, but it does still have some gems that make it worth buying (Uncharted, Little Big Planet, Wipeout HD, Metal Gear Solid 4, etc.)

    I view the issues they are having is a direct result of their blatant superiourity complex that they had during the PS3 development and early life-cycle.  Directly telling people that they "will" happily work multiple jobs, and give up other things just to afford this insanly expensive piece of equipment with, at the time, questionable and untested Blu-Ray technology built in.  I admit to being VERY angry after spending the money for the system and then finding that it didn’t even come with HD cables, and after that finding requiring HDMI for proper upscaling.  Little things like that drove me nuts.  Now that Blu-Ray has won the "HD DVD Format War" the system itself it looking better, but then they just up and removed all backwards compatibility for PS2 games when they already had it down to software instead of hardware anyways makes me question some of their decisions.  I’ve likened them more to Nintendo in it’s treatment of people during the N64 days where they were so sure of their ability and market share, that they squandered it all off and lost so many of their key players like Square and many others.  Hopefully Sony will recognize this and get their crap together within the next generation or two.  I’ll still play my PS3, but I find it hard to get others to join in as well. 

    Zen aka Jeremy Powers
    Panama City, Fl.
    Zen@Zenspath.com

  17. ZippyDSMlee says:

    A large free V world as an alertive to PSN, its news worthy for the huge revune potinal it can tap and as a frist for a console.
    =================================
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    ———————————
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

  18. ZippyDSMlee says:

    …PSN is jsut about as polished as live is Home is a optional extra thing, bascily a free MMO/V-world you can buy nit nacks for…..and in this disposable consuemr enviroment its prefect as a revunve soruce..

    =================================
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    ———————————
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

  19. Tony says:

    Home and IMVU are pretty close.  Home is basically a 3D chat program as well.

    It’s got some interactivity, you can play pool or bowling in theory (but these are limited resources and there’s no queueing system).  There’s some virtual game consoles (same problem.. good luck getting on one). 

    There’s the cinema, which shows game trailers at low resolution, and won’t go fullscreen.  Then the other area is the shop,  where you pay for decorating your virtual space (which was free during the beta.. TBH none of it is worth paying for).

    The ability to start games from it isn’t implemented yet (needs to be implemented by the game), and some of the more interesting stuff demonstrated at GDC about 18 months ago isn’t there, like TVs and picture frames.. I think they cut a lot out to meet the deadlines.

    There are also plans for game specific spaces – I believe the Japan one had something being tested.. the european had nothing and was bare.

     

  20. robotco says:

    Sony is done for in the gaming market. They are just too far behind and keep pumping out ridiculous trash. Microsoft has already won the core gamer market by making Live easy and intuitive and pricing the Xbox reasonably. Nintendo dominates the casual market with the Wii and DS. Sony is left trying to pull in every direction at once – jack of all trades, master of none.

  21. NovaBlack says:

    yeah but as for point 3.. thats the issue..

     

    consoles didnt used to have patches… so games WERE more polished and completed, because there was no chance to fix it. I personally feel that because patches are so accessible now, that the line of what is ‘acceptable’ for a release is being continually pushed the wrong way.

  22. Chuma says:

    My final comment on the subject of credibility was because it was unneeded and unwarrented.  This is a site where we share opinions, usually on politics.  For the most part, our opinions are shared with good grace and far more elequence than most of the internet.  If you really don’t care about the argument, why comment in the first place?  This isn’t 4Chan where trolling is nature, it is a well moderated and interesting site where discourse happens.  So yes, if you had to resort to just saying "shut the **** up" then you have lost credibility, regardless of whether or not you care.

     

  23. sheppy says:

    "The latest wave of these microtransactions are for almost useless content.  It is in my mind testing the water to see just what people will pay for.  Need for Speed Undercover is asking people to pay for content that is ALREADY in the game, not new content.  EA is basically asking people to pay for stuff you can unlock yourself.  This is really sickening to my mind."

    Actually this kind of stuff is the stuff that annoys me.  Which is why I don’t support it.

    Also, most of Little Big Planet is free, but you can buy premium sackboys.  People have complained about this.  I don’t see why.  The game doesn’t force you to log in with a premium sack boy before you can play online and likewise they give a large number of sackboys away for free.

    And yes, it is expensive to run servers.  But I will ask this, your purchase of a game supports the servers holding nearly 200,000 custome levels for two years after the game was bought?  Mmmmm, no.  The premium content there is to help finance the long term community.  And you can opt out of it.

    In the case of WoW I agree, actually.  Which is why I don’t play subscription based MMOs.  Frankly I’m of the opinion that the subscription should cover the cost of the game.  You don’t see Netflix asking you for $50 for a software package before you can start to pay them for the monthly fee.  As for me, I usually play the f2p mmos when I do them.  Community is less hardcore and if I like the game, I’ll throw $10 here or there at the premium content.

    And oh no, I lost credibilities on the internet.  However shall I recover?  No offense but that statement is as overused as lolcats.  I lost credibility for playing Gundam Musou, drinking sprite, drinking baileys irish creme, crossing the street inside a crosswalk, and mocking a persons death.  Somehow telling people to stfu over complaining about nothing concerns or easily avoidable concerns has me less concerned about credibility lost.

    Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

  24. sheppy says:

    1.  Bzzzt, false.  On average game dev times have gotten longer, not shorter.  That’s a big part of the problem with increased dev cost.

    2.  Once again, another "retrotinted glasses" look.  The games were "finished and polished" to a higher degree because a game like Super Mario Brothers can be polished in a couple months.  Super Mario Galaxy could take over a year to tighten.  As games get more complex, what can go wrong in them increases tenfold.  After all, falling through portions of a stage was perfectly acceptable in Castlevania 2: Simon’s Revenge and yet somehow something with much more ambition this becomes an unforgivable sin?

    3.  You’re right.  Patches did that.  I wonder what those things that download once every couple months on my console and PC games are called… oh yeah, patches.  Or title updates on 360… or updates on PS3.

    4.  I remember my first patch vividly.  I was new to the whole 3D thing on PC and discovered my 4MB graphics card couldn’t hold the textures for Tomb Raider despite claims to the contrary.  And then on a PC gaming mags CD I found an area named "patches" and found an entry there for Tomb Raider which "address incompatibility problems with early voodoo chipsets."  Suffice it to say, it fixed the issue.  I’ve also seen patches that have balance out damage ratios in SCIV and DOA.  So patches, when they were introduced, addressed both game glitches and balance issues.  Just as patches nowadays address both.

    Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

  25. Chuma says:

    No need to recall gaming history to me; I was playing Hover Bover when Jeff Minter was still finding his feet.

    Early PC gaming had modding communities and free downloads – there was none of this paying for extra content.  Map packs for Quake, Duke Nukem and others were free and often user generated with the backing of those that made the game.  So the reason noone bitched about them is often THEY WERE FREE!  Exceptions to this were official release add ons which were not required and usually single player.

    The issue is that when you have an online community that is built up over time and then demand that someone pays for online content that you either buy or you are placed at a loss such as WoW, it is effectively blackmail.  Is it any wonder people are resentful?

    The latest wave of these microtransactions are for almost useless content.  It is in my mind testing the water to see just what people will pay for.  Need for Speed Undercover is asking people to pay for content that is ALREADY in the game, not new content.  EA is basically asking people to pay for stuff you can unlock yourself.  This is really sickening to my mind.

    Your argument about LittleBigPlanet is false for a start as it is user generated and free.  The content we are complaining about is the content you are asked or forced to pay for after having already purchased the game.   You bring up the notion that it is in someway expensive to host a server and running costs for things such as Home, well I should point out that the money from buying the console or game covers these costs.  In the case of WoW you pay for a subscription and they STILL ask you to buy extra content.  Is that fair too?

    "So cry, whine, complain… boohoo, poor you.  Or you could just shut the (expletive deleted) and not buy it."

    Any credibility your argument may have had went out the window with your last comment.

  26. Good Lord says:

    You just answered your own question, sport. Namco, EA and other companies that milk DLC content (which essentially unlocks things that are already on the disc) are where the "half-a-game" idea comes from. These aren’t expansion packs, they’re unlock keys to access the content you already own. Ever played Beautiful Katamari on the 360?

  27. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Sheppy

    You forget

    1.       Games were developed and tested longer.

    2.       Game were finished and polished on a average higher than today.

    3.       A expansion did not finished unfinished design and balance issues of the game….

    4.       Games are not patched now adays for balance, polish or missing sht they are patched to keep running so the DLC can mlk off the rep until consumers revolt and  no longer support the crap game.
    =================================
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    ———————————
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

  28. sqlrob says:

    What I want from online is demos (free on both), and info (pay for Qore on PS3). So much for the $50, PS3 is more expensive online.

     

  29. sqlrob says:

    You have the average consumer sitting in the store. There’s a 360 for $199 and a PS3 for $399. The nearby games have more 360 than PS3 (Target, Gamestop, Best Buy). Which one is going to get purchased?

     

  30. ZippyDSMlee says:

    A subscription is not needed for some multi player features.

    New 360s comes with a 60GB HDD for now added cost.

    New 360s have a 5% fail rate.

    The 360 has more games its for lack of better terms the PS2 of this generation.

    The online market place is polished, refined and easy to navigate.

    The added cost of blu ray has forced the PS3 to drop PS2 support making its BWC as questionable as its price.

    The PS3 is a beast to code for leaving some ports and games buggy.
    ——————————————————-

    I could go on but really they both have almsot the same level of online features most of the "port down to me bugs" have been fixed on both systems, both are littlered with neo hardcore casaul shovelware titles with a few worthwhile ones between them the WII is better…at least its best games are better than  the others….. at half the cost…. of course if you play ti enough you wont have anything to play because…it dose not have that many great games….I guess it comes down to jRPG/Jaction(PS3) , shooters/action(360) or cheap(WII) but frankly there is lil difference in the overall quality of all the the systems they offer lil if no user  customability(control options,unrestrained media viewing)and the games are heavily watered down for better penetration of the casual market, the only thing they have unique to them is the number of genre based  titles.

    =================================
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    ———————————
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

  31. Flamespeak says:

    Free Online Gameplay – $50 a year for 360

    Free Wireless internet capabilities – $100 extra for 360

    An 80-160 GB hard drive – As opposed to a 20-120 GB on on the 360

    Blu-ray medium which not only is hard to damage, but also give you the most out of your HD TV for movies – To be fair, netflix is available on the 360 now although I don’t know if they offer HD movie downloads nor do I know the pricing for the service.

    A much better defect rate. Around 1% as opposed to 360s 18-20%

    Loads of reasons actually.

  32. ZippyDSMlee says:

    The numbers given are for all PS3 owners futrue and current, 60% will use it in soem fashion the rest will ignore it.
    =================================
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    ———————————
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

  33. narcogen says:

     A visual aid for the friends list? Who was asking for that? If I can’t remember their names, are they really my friends?

    If anything, the new friends list is much less convenient. It takes longer to load, uses more screen real estate, and thereby shows fewer friends on screen at once. 

    The ONE advantage it has is showing who is in a party with whom without having to load up a game. However, in all other situations the old friends list functionality, now in the Guide, is greatly preferable.

    Some people like the NXE and some don’t. Others have parts they like and parts they don’t. What I find amazing is that, as a whole, this was an update that I don’t think anybody asked for. I don’t recall seeing anyone say that XBL functions just fine most of the time, but needs a huge visual overhaul that mandates creating a wii-style avatar, buries useful functions in deeper menus than before, and spreads Marketplace advertisements over multiple screens instead of the one it was restrained to previously.

    This was driven by MS and content producers, not by users. 

  34. Mnementh2230 says:

    The 360 avatars are mostly a visual aid for finding your friends in your friend’s list, I think, and I’ll admit that I did have some fun making the avatar look a bit like me, but in the end that’s about as far as I care to go with the concept.  I don’t really care to give him a place to live, or a virtual world to hang out in – I turn on my XBox to play games, not to watch my avatar virtually socialize.

  35. narcogen says:

    On the virtual apartment: I agree, I also have no interest. I’d have preferred not to set up an NXE avatar at all, but that’s not a choice. Doing it is mandatory.

    As for the update and the network… adapter? What adapter? The 360 (like the first gen box) has an ethernet port. Unless you really, really need to use wireless instead of a wire, or get your internet from a device that has a single ethernet port and no possibility to use a hardware or software router, you don’t need anything additional except an ethernet cable to hook your 360 up to the ‘net.

  36. barra_sadei says:

    They’re going in the wrong direction. They’re trying to appease current customers even more, instead of drawing in new customers.

    Quite frankly, this feature holds none of my interest. Why do I have to set up a virtual apartment? I just want to play games, watch movies, and listen to music. I don’t care about a jukebox, and if I did, then some music player item better be already available (instead of searching through a list of downloadable items, or paying for it).

    Also, my Xbox, to the best of my knowledge, hasn’t gotten the new dashboard update, because it’s never connected to the internet (I’m ending my first semester as a college freshman; if I didn’t have enough money in high school for the Xbox adapter, then I don’t have the money now). I like playing over the internet, but I’m just not connected enough to make it worthwhile (it should change with L4D, though…).

    There were two things that I wanted for the PS3: Little Big Planet (seems fun), and Metal Gear Solid 4 (which, if it follows the trend of previous games, will be out for other systems eventually). If those two aren’t enough for me to get one, then this is NOT going to help.

  37. finaleve says:

    There are 2 pool halls down the road from me.  I’ve been to the one a couple times, though rarely.

    …They’ve been there for a long time so I doubt business is slow with them…

  38. ZippyDSMlee says:

    We use to have a pool hall/arcade in town…….. they closed it down due to acoupel pot smokers >>
    =================================
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    ———————————
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

  39. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Wow how old are you? who plays pool anymore?  😛
    =================================
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    ———————————
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

  40. ZippyDSMlee says:

    As far as I know tis free you get a basic aparment between achivements and other things you can get stuf for it but for the msot part you’ll be spending money to get stuff if you want stuff.
    =================================
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    ———————————
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

  41. Ambiguous says:

    Valkyria Chronicles was probably the best RPG I have played in a long time. Plus, its a tactical one to boot. Screw FF tactics.

    Although I do wish there were more RPG’s on the PS3.  That was my reason for getting a PS3 instead of the 360 when I had the money.  Now I come to find out that FF13 is going to be on the frickin xbox anyway, because they didn’t buy the exclusive on it.  Plus, most of the good RPG’s that have come out this year have been on the 360, which really really REALLY sucks.  Oh well, doesn’t that only apply to the actual 13, and not Versus 13?

    There are plenty of good non-japanese developers for RPG’s, but they all tend to have this trend of having open-worlds ala Oblivion and Fallout, where the japanese ones are more story driven.  I tend to like a more linear storyline, with possible multiple routes, more along the lines of Neverwinter Nights and KOTOR. Can’t wait for Dragon Age.

    As for Home, I’ll probably try it out but I don’t know how much I’ll enjoy it. I can certainly see it helping me to get in touch with other PSN people and add some names to my empty friend list, especially since I don’t have a mic to actually chat with anyone in-game.

    Comparing PSN to XBL, all you need to do is mention "free" and I’m sold.  I don’t care what features XBL has, it doesn’t beat playing all I want online, for years to come, without incurring additional costs.  PLus there are a whole lot less of the whiny bastards and general all-round assholes that seem so pervasive on XBL multiplayer.  Rarely do I have to mute someone while playing online, and if I do, its usually because they have a crappy mic thats picking up constant feedback and it hurts my ears.

  42. JustChris says:

    Yeah, I see Home being more attractive to the "MySpace people", those people that like to deck out their homepages with a lot of glitter, music and animations to the point that it looks like a tornado crashed into the website. I don’t know if the clothes and home accessories do anything major for the online experience.

  43. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Actually 30/30/30 is not a bad expectation  10 wont fool with it because they are off line, 30% will go nuts over it 30% will use it and like it, 30% will diss it for street cred  give or take 10% to any of the numbers but it still comes out to it will be used and enjoyed by millions and millions more will be plunked into it over the frist acouple of years.
    =================================
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    ———————————
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

  44. mogbert says:

    Yeah, the MS avatars and Home are quite a bit different. Home sounds more like Sony’s attempt to cut into the Animal Crossing market, only they figure instead of earning bells or what not, you can use real money! Then you can dress your character, decorate your home and pay off Tom Noo— I guess since you are dealing with real money, it’s more like paying off Visa. The MS Avatars are trying the same thing with closthing in a little time, and I look down on their attempt to do so as well.

    Anyway, I see this as a dividing moment. A third of the people on a PS3 really could care less, a third will try it out, and a third will go crazy over it. Actually, I flubbed those fractions just to keep from starting a flame war, personally I think the fractions will be a bit different.

    Once I set my XBox avatar, I haven’t done anything with it. I have Gold membership for Netflix, but still haven’t played any games on line and so I don’t have any XBox Live Friends. I just don’t really see the console as a viable online gaming platform, mostly because a lot of the online games are FPS’s (or UNO) which I don’t like playing with a controller (prefer mouse/keyboard (or cards for UNO)).

    In short, after a little time, the only people we will be hearing about Home from is either Sony press releases ("Now enjoy your favorite GAP virtual clothing, up to 30% off!") or the rabid fanboys ("OMG! H0m3 is t3h w1nn! Y0u d0n’t h4v3 4nyth1ng l1k3 1t 0n t3h SUCKB0X! L0L!!!11!1!"). Everyone else will just see it as a casual feature, not a selling point. It’s there if they want to use it, but it won’t be a major revenue stream, and it won’t be the point of the console.

  45. sheppy says:

    I really wish I knew where this "half a game" concept comes from.  When PC was the big market, NOBODY bitched about expansion packs.  Nobody.  They were just an understood aspect to the industry as a whole.  The initial product presented the idea and game.  The continued product refined the idea and focused the game while adding new experiences.  While some companies abuse this system (Namco, EA), there are other companies that as production winds down on the asset creation aspect, they put those workers onto additional content rather than all new game.  So while in 90% of the cases a final delivered product is in box, occassionally some companies hold stuff back.  Just because companies are developing content to add after ship date doesn’t mean that content was removed.  It just means it was developed.  No studio has software that accepts an "add new shit" command to their game.  It costs money to make this additional content.

    Also, I want to gripe at the people who are soooo offended by premium content like this or Little Big Planet.  It’s like this, you’re forced to pay what in regards to DLC?  That’s right, nothing.  Meanwhile running the servers and maintenance on those servers and developing Home in general costs… GASP… money.  So this PREMIUM content is neither required nor hampering the experience.  Instead it’s a way to throw money at a company or product you approve of.  In other words, it’s like a voluntary Xbox Live.  If Amplitude features premium DLC, I’d have it all.  Instead Harmonix decided they didn’t want to pay to run the servers anymore.

    So cry, whine, complain… boohoo, poor you.  Or you could just shut the (expletive deleted) and not buy it.

    Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

  46. mogbert says:

    Please reference Fable2. They do the same thing, provide half a game (the moral half, if you are evil, things don’t get worse, they just stay the same), they deliver it broken, then hype the DLC it is getting, saying that it was always planned to have this DLC in the game. I understand that what they mean is they had planned to add onto the game, but it really feels like they left stuff out of the game and pushed it out the door broken so as to get to the DLC stuff quicker. Silly me, I just want it to work. How does it take so long to fix the game that they are having the first expansion done at the same time as the first patch to make the game playable?

  47. ZippyDSMlee says:

    When the consoles created an online market place and went fuly casaul it rushed the mainstreamization of the indutry and ramped up development cycles to the point most devs make two games in a  3-5 year span instead of focusing on 1 polished product. The game market is based on a artfical profit bubble the way publishers push out under deved titles makes it clear it’s all about keeping up appearances  and not about the quality of the product and that’s the price of a casual market quality suffers so either more people can profit from it or a limited amount of mega publishers can monopolize it.

    =================================
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    ———————————
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

  48. Chuma says:

    Anyone who buys these online clothes and feeds the frenzy of microtransactions deserves to have their brains surgically removed.  When did it become okay to charge people for half a game at full price and ask them to pay for the rest of the content later?

  49. ZippyDSMlee says:

     

    I see it as a slice of life MMO alternate GUI for PSN, its meant to get people who are easily distracted and have disposable money to plunk money into it, don;t be confused by the dev speak or PR blunderbus this is about future profit.

     

    Also the beta was limited but alot of thigns and home will take a few months if not 2 years to take off but it has huge potenail.
    =================================
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    ———————————
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

  50. Pixelantes Anonymous says:

    I don’t really know what market they’re after, because their communication about the service’s goals has been neither here or there and quite frankly I don’t think they even know what the hell they’re doing with it. But if I were to guess, they’re going after the non-hardcore market, and even non-gamer market.

    The users of services like PlayStation Home have interesting demographics…there are more female users, and they’re also younger than the avg gamer.

    If PlayStation Home works as "well" as the beta, it’ll definitely not work.

    The success of products like Habbo Hotel and The Sims is a complete mystery to me, so if those succeeded, then maybe Home might as well. I get what’s compelling about creating personalized virtual worlds for yourself to interact with friends, but to pay (so much so that making the content producers rich) for the privilege I simply do not get.

    http://pixelantes.blogspot.com/

  51. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Home is going to be a relatively pristine environment, IE very limited user content, word filtering and voice chat only works between friends or can easily be turned off, it’s not going to be like 2nd life as there is really no user made stuff and if they do let it in it will all have to be authorized by a sony employee .

    =================================
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    ———————————
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

  52. Zen says:

    I’ve been in the beta for it for a bit now and have had some issues with it.  I do like the "group" aspect of it a bit, but it hasn’t really been working as a gaming social network as much as it tries to emulate real life in some ways.  You have to download a location when you first visit it instead of just downloading the whole thing and going from there.  I’m sure this helps with seperate updates, but also made it frustrating my first few times where I had to just get up and walk away from the PS3 each time I tried to go somewhere new. The 2 other main issues I had with it was the "distance based" speach and type (this caused me to turn the sound off and send my son out of the room because I was stuck in a pool game and couldn’t find a way to both mute people that were saying some horrible things just a few feet from the table, as well as what they and the rest of their group were typing to eachother and everyone around them) and that if you try and play an arcade game, pool, or something of it’s like you have to freaking WAIT IN A REAL LINE!  Why can’t I just walk up to it, select it, and start playing.  It makes no sense in a server based environment to only allow a single instance of a given item when so many people are there. I think a few people realized this, took up the games, and then walked away so no one else could play for all I know.  I’m looking forward to see if they can move it forward at all, but with ads EVERYWHERE, peoples need to be grotesque to the point I have to have my kids leave the room in fear of what people will start spouting or typing out, and "real life" limitations being stuck to a server based environments…I’m not holding my breath to hard. 

    Zen aka Jeremy Powers
    Panama City, Fl.
    Zen@Zenspath.com

  53. barra_sadei says:

    Depends on the game, though. When I used to play a lot online (i.e. over the summer, but, even then, it was a couple years ago), I ran into very few people like that n Rainbow Six Vegas. Halo, on the other hand…

    It’s not just the system. It’s the game as well.

    … And, also, the fact that other people don’t know who you really are really brings that side out of people, because, well, what consequences will there be?

  54. Chuma says:

    Abso-bloody-lutely mate.  Most of the XBL crowd seem to have left their decorum and language skills behind them when they turned on their console.  Some of the racism and insults are just downright horrific.

  55. zel says:

    But you can put those ppl on ignore and rate them and give them bad ratings and change what area you’re in (underground, family, etc). My XBL experience has actually been very pleasent, i’ve managed to meet several good players on games like gow, gow2 and we’d keep in touch or w/e.

    I’m in the PS3 camp myself, i prefer it because i’ve always liked the PS line. But you can’t deny that of all 3 systems the 360 has the best online matching interface with all the controls you need to have a good time. I agree with the last part of what you said though, I hate when parents let their 12 year old kids play unsupervised and they just say the dumbest shit over and over and cuss as much as they can and such. man if i caught my kid doing that i would whoop his ass. Funny enough my 12 year old son actually doesn’t like playing online becuase of kids tht act that way. He wants to be able to play but after about 10 minutes of playing he turns it off and tells me he remembers why he stopped playing online to begin with 😛

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  56. sheppy says:

    "XBL got it right by making an easy-to-use, pleasant gaming environment."

    You know, ease of use is one thing.  But Pleasant Gaming Environment?  You’re press, you have connections with decent fellows, you likely have a full friends list.  I don’t.  I have about 20 people on my friends list.  During a heated round of Lumines last night I was informed I was a faggoty nigger bitch choking on cum.  If Live does have a pleasant gaming experience on offer, most of us can’t access it.  Most of that experience is a pool of racism ignorant children who believe the f-bomb is the best word ever.

    Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

  57. ZippyDSMlee says:

    IMVU is even more icky it’s a bad chat program with avatars focused on getting people to meet new people….I do not likez new people….

    Anyway casual+dumb is always a winner in this market…
    =================================
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    ———————————
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

  58. Pixelantes Anonymous says:

    While I personally do not think I’ll like the service much, there’re plenty of people who already do pay for online virtual worlds and "dress up". Habbo Hotel, Second Life, Disney’s Virtual Kingdom are all doing it and have been doing it so for years in some cases. Habbo Hotel is EXTREMELY popular.

    http://pixelantes.blogspot.com/

  59. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Home is an interesting concept and frankly should do well in this mass disposable tween market…look at IMVU and Second life and any 2nd rate crappy MMO they have some form of backing because people are crazy and like plunking their time/money into silly things.

     

    As for being in competition with LIVE…. I do not see it from my experience live is a GUI/interface for their marketplace and game community, home is a casual game extension of the interface hopefully optional because I don’t want it.

     

    In the end it’s a added bonus for PSN and another revenue source for junk sales.
    =================================
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    ———————————
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

  60. sheppy says:

    Literally there are none?  Wow… ummm, Valkaria Chronicles says "Hi there sailor, looking for a good time?"

    The problem with Sony and RPGs can be broken up in three distinctive problems.

    1.  Until PS3 starts ACTING like a Japanese console, japanese developers won’t consider it as such.

    2.  Sony doesn’t pay for exclusives… MS does.  Sony focuses on internal development which is why White Knight Chronicles is an exclusive whereas Tales of Vesperia can and likely will go to PS3 eventually.

    3.  The RPGs they ARE getting are far too niche.  Chronicles of the Aegis War as an example.  Expecting this to do well outside of Japan is foolishness.  Or how about an RPG crossing the universes of Nippon Ichi, Creative Factory, and Capcom?  Excellent game, but like Namco X Capcom, no chance in hell of leaving Japan.

    Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

  61. KayleL says:

    That’s what I been telling the Gametrailers.com PS3 fanboys. But fanboys would be fanboys.

    But Ps3 has more true exclusives. When I say that, I mean that almost every game on the Xbox 360 can be bought on PC too.

  62. NovaBlack says:

    um im confused.. arent HOME and XBL completely different things?

    surely sony already competes with XBLive with PSN…. HOME is like one specific application that utilises PSN.

    isnt comparing Home, a virtual second-life esque social networking experience, with XBlive, an online content delivery service, a bit.. i dunno.. mismatched?

    Like trying to compare a  method of cooking potatoes (mashing, frying, roasting) with a potato itself…

    could be wrong 😛 

     

     

    ‘The Home launch is a critical step for Sony and the PS3. Let’s hope that they get it right. However, as a PS3 owner who tries to stay optimistic (Sony doesn’t make this easy), ‘

    agreed with that 100% though!!! its getting really difficult to keep optimistic about ps3. Found out today, the next major (non handheld) dragon quest will be on … wii… i.e. departing from the tradition of playstation, like many other devs.

    Kinda gutted i bought my ps3 primarily for RPGs, and there literally are none, let alone exclusives.

     

  63. DeepThorn says:

    More point than the X360 version of this concept…  They both should have just dropped it and focused on figuring out something more advance that could be more fun to everyone.  Netflicks is a good start, at least though…

    In the end, they are just trying to make more money off of this stupid stuff.

    Nido Web Flash Tutorials AS2 and AS3 Tutorials for anyone interested.
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  64. Mnementh2230 says:

    I don’t see it going anywhere, really.  Sony’s market share is already the smallest of the big three – what is one more feature going to accolplish for them?

     

    Edit:  Further, who wants to pay for virtual clothes to dress up their virtual avatar so they can hang out with other virtual people who’ve decked out their virtual apartments in virtual firniture?  It seems like a lot of effort went into making a game with no point, except possibly as a launching pad for other games – XBL will do it faster, in the end, and that will be a critical factor.

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