Friday, December 12, 2008

Playstation Home: First Impressions


So I completed the DL this AM and made me, the system gives some decent customization options for recreating your face, the options for hair color and style seem a bit limited, especially for females...no long hair option??? How hard would it have been to take one of those books in a unisex hair salon and duplicate every style? My Harbor Studio has a nice view but I couldn't throw my art deco furniture over the balcony...darn.Before I left my studio I familiarized my self with all the emotes, I'm impressed with the amount and variety of emotes...do the robot and talk to the hand at the same time...made me smile in approval. The comm system is great hold R2 to talk via headset and just type away for texting, if you don't have a USB keybord or headset hit L1 for pre formatted messages or use the PS3's built in keybord (slow). As far as curse words, they get the astrik treatment...although I didn't test l33t text...
Start brings up your triquarter thingie (looks like a PSP in other peoples hands) this little dodad has a lot of uses like warping to a differnent area of Home, calling a friend, inviting a friend to where you are and more (can't remember now).
Before I started to explore Home I DL'd all the zones while in my studio then I headed to the theater, grabbed a seat and sat while the movie trailer was DLing (Optimum or Fios will definately make the wait a lot less painful compared to my Verizon DSL) Got an invite from a guy in my clan, pulled out my trusty triquarter and warped to the mall. Here is the core of the Home experience....you can set up a chat room with your PS3 where up to 9 friends can chat and if you have a PS Eye you can video chat...with Home every PS3 owner is in this virtual environment and can communicate with anyone, this open ended environment can trully build the Playstation community beyond your basic friends list. The one thing I was a little disapointed in was the fact developer zones like Sully's bar didn't seem "connected" to the rest of the Home areas which kinda takes you out of the cyber reality of the landscape of Home. So I'm at the mall now talking to one of the guys in my clan via my headset and text, he shows me the new sweatshirt he bought in one of the stores in the mall...$00.50 for a virtual sweatshirt, I laughed thinking of the repercusions if my wife found out I spent real money on a virtual sweatshirt! The real estate store was open and I could've dropped $4.99 on a summer home...prices seem a little off in home...$00.50 for a sweatshirt and only 10X that for a summer house! Maybe that's where we're headed with the RL economy...with all the sweatshirts my wife and I have we'll be owning an island in the carribean soon! I think conversations are proximity based meaning people walking by would hear our conversation. As I talked with my my clanmate I couldn't help but compare Home to your typical message board, the mall being a section of a message board such as a Video Games section and the we were having a conversation about Home so you could compare it to me and my clanmate talking about CoD4 in the CoD4 thread of a message board. Same concept, different application. Then I thought to myself as dozens and dozens of people interacted...where's the mods? The Mr. Smiths of Home...
All in all Home is potentially a new way for people to meet online and participate in community based activities.There is also unlimited potential for Home to generate RL revenue via advertising and micro transactions. I'm looking forward to more publishers embracing Home and using it to promote their games with game-centric zones such as Sully's Bar and special events where Home owners can acquire unique items to showcase how involved they are in home. And Capcom....if by some miracle you're reading this make Chun Li's stage as an area in home to promote Street Fighter IV! And If EA BIG makes another SSX game make a Ski Lodge with a store where we can purchase boards and equipment to use within the game...and an Elise lamp or statue to buy for our homes! So many ideas I could go on and on...