Playstation 3 owners might have something to look forward later this year with Playstation Home. At first glance, it appears that Sony is trying to capitalize on the popularity of Nintendo’s Wii and its Miis customizable little cartoony avatars that can be used as characters in games for the system.
However, upon further review, it seems that Sony is going in a very different direction with Home. The avatars in Home are much more realistic than those in the Miis, and they “live” in a much broader world.
It is a lot easier to compare the characters you create to the Sims, and the aspect of paying money for certain special items like games, clothing and furniture is akin to another massively multiplayer game, Second Life.
One of the few problems I can see is that Sony isn’t really trying too hard in the creativity department. One can compare the uploading of photos and movies, combined with the chat rooms to Myspace. Sony also seems to have copied the “Achievements” system that Microsoft has for games on the Xbox 360. However, these awards are far less numerous, and will be displayed in an awards case inside your dwelling and in an awards room for all to view.
It is unknown at this time if all games will include these awards.
Home will allow users to upload their own media (movies, music, etc.) and share it with other users on the network. Every user gets his or her own virtual house, and they invite people there to visit, chat and share the media.
It is unknown if this will have some kind of media protection, but it is highly likely, as Sony is known to update their firmware every time someone finds a way to exploit their programming.
As it is now, Home seems to be the new hub for PS3 activities. It will have PSP connectivity that will allow you to go back to your virtual house instantly.
This, in addition to rooms designated for movies and game demos, will help Sony create a world that brings multiplayer gaming to the next level.
The closed beta for Home will be out soon, so you can sign up for it if you want to try out this world before the official release.
This may not convince people to buy Sony’s PS3, but for people who already own the console, look forward to Playstation Home, which will be a free download sometime this fall.