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The Playstation Home will allow you to extensively modify an avatar

The Home is customizeable; users can edit, add or change the setting at will

Users can invite others to their Home to chat or share media

Global lounges allow you to chat and interface with others

Small sports games also allow users to interface and chat with each other

The Hall of Fame allows users to show off their achievements

The Home also provides interfaces for other Sony products, including the PSP
First screenshots and videos from Sony's new online service

After a week of anticipation, PlayStation Home is finally official. Sony released screenshots of what many have been terming “online identities” or “avatars.” Unlike the cartoony look of Nintendo’s Miis and the feature-filled interface of Xbox Live, PlayStation Home adopts the “virtual world” concept that, at first glance, looks similar to Second Life or The Sims.

“This is about the connected device,” said Phil Harrison, SCE Worldwide,  as he introduced his concept of Game 3.0 in his keynote speech at GDC. “We want the entire game community to add to this and build on this. It’s not something that we want to claim as a copyright or a trademark. It's about community; it's about collaboration; it's about customization. It's about emergent entertainment powered by the audience—with the audience at the center of this universe.”

Avatars in PlayStation Home can be customized with many different variations of clothing, body and facial features. Its character creation process is akin to that found in many MMORPGs. PlayStation Home users can walk around and socialize through voice or text chat, and play together on casual games or those downloaded from the PlayStation Network. Games of pool and bowling were demonstrated on stage from within the PlayStation Home system.

Animated emotes such as dancing are used to convey actions and emotions, also like those found in online games. Players can communicate by typing to each other, where a USB keyboard would be very handy, or through speech by using any Bluetooth headset. Users can also “quick chat” through pre-written dialog and responses, which may open doors for users speaking different languages to convey understandable messages to each other.

Each online persona will have a virtual living space to decorate with various items and achievement prizes. The virtual apartment can be decorated just like the real world, with users able to select different carpets, furniture and other décor.

The room may also be decorated from media stored on the PlayStation 3, such as music, images and videos. Phil Harrison demonstrated this by taking a picture with his camera with the intention of uploading it to his virtual room.

The PlayStation Home virtual world will also serve as a gateway into downloadable media. For example, a user may walk to the movie theater to gain access to videos, and perhaps pay-per-download high-definition movies.

In what is clearly an answer to Microsoft’s successful game achievement system, Sony is creating something in the same spirit. “The final part of the home experience that we would like to share with you is something called the Hall of Fame,” revealed Harrison.

Users can explore a virtual trophy room are where it displays goals that the player has and has not accomplished. “It's not just the games that you own. It's the entire network of games that's available for PlayStation 3. I think this gives you a sense of where this may go in the future as hundreds and hundreds of titles are added,” said Harrison. “You can check out the trophies, and that gives users an incentive to go and buy your game as well. It's a unique real-time 3D community for the PlayStation Network."

As Sony has stressed on numerous occasions, it plans for the online service to be free of charge. Like Xbox Live’s gamer pictures and themes, however, users will have to pay a small fee to gain access to small novelty items, such as unique clothing, to personalize his or her online identity. The PlayStation Home service will also be subsidized by dynamic advertising that will be viewed in the virtual world.

The final PlayStation Home product isn’t set to launch until fall, though a “large scale” beta is said to begin in April. See Sony's promotional video of PlayStation Home for more.



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Really cool.
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 3/7/2007 2:13:41 PM , Rating: 2
Now this looks really cool. Almost like Sims within the PS3 universe.




RE: Really cool.
By FITCamaro on 3/7/07, Rating: 0
RE: Really cool.
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 3/7/2007 2:33:30 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
While the idea is cool, I have a feeling this will devolve into a wasteland filled with people yelling out random things which you get to hear until you blacklist them(assuming this feature is available).

So, Ironforge, right?


RE: Really cool.
By Scabies on 3/7/07, Rating: -1
RE: Really cool.
By Xenoterranos on 3/7/2007 3:21:13 PM , Rating: 2
Way to rip a post right off Ars Technica.


RE: Really cool.
By Xenoterranos on 3/7/2007 3:24:11 PM , Rating: 2
In retrospect, maybe they ripped you off? Hmmm...

On Topic: I want to name my avi "Count Zero"


RE: Really cool.
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 3/7/2007 3:29:42 PM , Rating: 2
Dibs on Wintermute


RE: Really cool.
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 3/7/2007 2:34:16 PM , Rating: 4
But I wouldn't speak so harshly before it even gets off the ground. For now, it looks like a pretty interesting interface.

The only problem I could possibly see going forward is that many people might spend more time working on their avatar, sprucing up their apartment and getting involved in social commentary than actually playing their $60 games :D


RE: Really cool.
By Aikouka on 3/7/2007 2:51:29 PM , Rating: 1
For some aspects, I think the interface will be too much. For example, on XBOX Live, you just navigate through menus to download a movie. But.. imagine if you will.. having to travel from one end of Ironforge (as an example used earlier) to another end just to get a movie. That just seems like an unnecessary hassle.

But the depth of this looks interesting.. just keep the furries out ;).


RE: Really cool.
By Janooo on 3/7/2007 5:48:59 PM , Rating: 2
I am sure a fast tele-transportation will be available. You'll be able to get anywhere in a split of a second :-)


RE: Really cool.
By lukasbradley on 3/8/2007 9:51:27 AM , Rating: 2
I'm willing to give it a shot, but I thought the same thing.

And there's nothing wrong with a random furry running around now and then. ;)


RE: Really cool.
By rykerabel on 3/7/2007 4:23:06 PM , Rating: 2
Charging for "special" clothing and advertisement revenue will make it worthwhile for Sony even if people never buy another game ever.


RE: Really cool.
By vdig on 3/7/2007 2:42:33 PM , Rating: 2
Desperate times call for desperate measures. I am sure that Sony will not stop here. They realize what position they are in, regardless of their depth perception. In other words, some see it as being FAR shallower than others. Regardless, Sony wants us to buy their systems, and I'll be darned if I would critique a feature like this without any hands-on experience. Besides, I like the idea that my real life pals and acquaintances can be hosted in a "home" base as a sort of clan hangout. No real need to stay in a public channel/location if you don't want to. As long as Sony is desperate, I would expect Sony to prepare new and cool features to get us Wii/360/unconvinced/cash strapped people. I'm all for cool features.

Blacklisting should be a feature. I can see lunatics spouting random and annoying things, which would necessitate such a feature. I would take it further, where I can choose to ban just the user's text messages, or toggle to ban him outright from a public channel through majority vote or somesuch. I personally do not want to tolerate morons who ruin the experience.

Outdoing, or attempting to outdo Microsoft is a good thing, by the way....


RE: Really cool.
By rykerabel on 3/7/2007 4:24:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Outdoing, or attempting to outdo Microsoft is a good thing, by the way....

yeah, that competition thing is probably a good idea ;) LOL


RE: Really cool.
By deeznuts on 3/7/2007 6:00:54 PM , Rating: 2
Good post. But I do believe something this complex might have started way before the desparate times began, depending on when you believe it did begin. I'm thinking this might have been in the cards for a long long time.


RE: Really cool.
By ManMan on 3/7/2007 10:42:42 PM , Rating: 2
I would assume this was being planned pre-launch. But why didn't they have it available for launch if they knew they wanted it? Why would they wait 5 months after launch to present their online solution?


RE: Really cool.
By JimFear on 3/8/2007 3:20:33 AM , Rating: 2
I'm really liking the idea of this, it makes chatting with your frineds on it realy simple, the 360 is a nightmare for chatting with your friends whilst in the dashboard, and to be honest I cant stand the dashboard, its far too chaotic and there are too many buttons and flashy things going on...then again MS aren't known for their interfaces.


RE: Really cool.
By borowki on 3/7/2007 5:55:52 PM , Rating: 3
If you think this is cool I got one word for you: advertisement. Imaging yourself trying to join a multiplayer game. Instead of pressing a few buttons, you have to navigate your avatar through an environment filled with ads and product placements. Suddenly it's a lot less appealing now isn't it?


RE: Really cool.
By FITCamaro on 3/7/2007 6:59:07 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah I didn't even want to go there.

"Are you sure you want to join the game and not buy some Taco Bell? How about a pair of Nike's? Fine, you can join the game....right after watching this 30 second advertisement on not smoking (because the whole cancer thing shouldn't be enough reason).


RE: Really cool.
By vdig on 3/8/2007 11:15:18 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly why we should be able to jump to where we want to go at will, without bothersome ads to hamper us. Still, I hope the ads only go so far as that they exist in the public rooms as ads on a wall or room tv. I don't mind the public rooms to have ads akin to the way they have ads on a subway line and station. Just don't hamper any transitional process by ads or painful mandatory strolls to change from HOME room to room.

That hypothetical situation... if it came to pass, HOME will be seen as a royal pain in the... you know where. I would rather set up a LAN game over the internet using 3rd party programs than bear that kind of thing. And we all know how annoying those programs can be.


By enlil242 on 3/7/2007 4:50:23 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, I just want to start off and say I own a 360 and was going to hold out for the PS3 when games start showing up or cool features were added … I wasn’t waiting for this. Am I missing something here?

Why would I want to hang out with, um, you guys? Don't get me wrong, I respect the DT readers, but when I get home from a long day, I just want to frag your assess, not invite you to my virtual crib, offer you a virtual beer and show you my trophies. I do that with my real friends.

This tells me that Sony is not marketing their product to me or anyone else I know. Maybe I misread something, but all I need from an online service is to play games online and download content, be it games, game updates, game demos , videos / movies, add-ons, music, etcetra, etcetra. All within a intuitive interface…




By vitul on 3/7/2007 5:09:29 PM , Rating: 4
who said you had to do all that? you can get home and frag whoever you want. however if you want to go into the ps home your welcome to do that as well.

most of these comments just bad mouth this idea one way or another. none of you have even tried it for yourself, yet you STILL find a way to say how the 360 or wii are better. Wait until it is out and you try it for yourself before assuming so much.


By Scabies on 3/7/2007 5:27:18 PM , Rating: 2
truth.
if you dont like Blu-Ray, get a HD-DVD player.
if you want to blow the shxt out of people, dont chill in the PS-Home environment

furthermore...
if you dont like sony, dont support it
if you dont like MS, dont support it
if you dont like nintendo, dont support it


By nurbsenvi on 3/7/2007 6:26:02 PM , Rating: 2
I wish they had guns and katana swords...


Wow
By Sparke on 3/7/2007 2:54:47 PM , Rating: 3
This is seriously cool.




RE: Wow
By MDE on 3/7/2007 3:35:58 PM , Rating: 3
Like Microsoft Bob cool?


RE: Wow
By Dianoda on 3/7/2007 4:25:26 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. Sure, the potential is there, but if I've learned anything from the past it's that Sony has a habit of over-promising and under-delivering.


i wonder
By jonnybnimble on 3/7/2007 3:08:53 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
The PlayStation Home virtual world will also serve as a gateway into downloadable media. For example, a user may walk to the movie theater to gain access to videos, and perhaps pay-per-download high-definition movies.


downloadable eh... so there will be a back-alley with a street salesman selling bootlegged movies/games???

either way this look kinda cool, but i doubt I'd spend much time in it...




RE: i wonder
By darkavatar on 3/8/2007 1:11:18 AM , Rating: 2
Come to think of it, this might be possible.

Since we can upload pics to our room, we could be able to exchange them. If we can exchange image files, then what's stopping us from hiding RAR files in them.....


Neuromancer
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 3/7/2007 2:09:42 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, I see someone at Sony has read Neuromancer.




RE: Neuromancer
By nphased on 3/8/2007 4:27:28 AM , Rating: 3
and snowcrash?..


My Thoughts
By BMFPitt on 3/7/2007 4:02:20 PM , Rating: 2
GENERAL OBSERVATIONS:
- This is something that would have been much better if it was done at launch, rather than slapped on a few months later.
- Hopefully form isn't way more important than function. Interfaces like this tend to be really annoying to use in the long term.

AVATARS:
- I like the "Realistic Mii" thing. I'd like to see games incorporate them wherever possible (rendered to fit the game, but so "GTA4 you" is at least recognizable as "standard you."
- I think it will be great if (like on the Wii) you can have friends' avatars show on on each others' PS3s.
- I'd like to see more options in here that carry over into games. Such as color preference, handedness, etc. Maybe even some very basic RPG attributes. (Think about starting a franchise on Madden, and having your avatars just pop up into the draft class.)
- If a game has some cinematic main character, there shoudl be an option for your avatars to pop up as "extras" here and there.

VIRTUAL ROOMS:
- I read somewhere that each game will be required to have it's own room. That sounds like overkill. Each game should only need to have a handful of items.
- If you need to "walk to the virtual movie theater" to watch a video, that task better be able to be done in under 5 seconds.
- I wouldn't mind ad placement given that it's a free service, as long as it is done in a non-obtrusive way that makes sense for the world. I doubt this will happen.

I bought a PS3 for 641.99 right at the point when supply met demand, sold it for $642.00. I should have held out for Jack Tretton's $1200!




RE: My Thoughts
By Scabies on 3/7/2007 4:15:58 PM , Rating: 2
A universal avatar wouldnt be a half bad idea at all. Your PSMii (until we get a real name for whatever home characters are called) will be one of the skateboarders in Tony Hawk, one of the drivers in Motorstorm, given a temporary medieval getup for Lair, etc etc.

Also, I think they meant that each game gave different things to your room, not each game has its own room. Another tech blog/ news site has a lot of pictures of the home feature, and there was what looked like a game store that had a copy of "flow" sitting on a shelf, suggesting all playable games will be in one area. If there is a room specifically for electronic microorganisms, it better be amazing.
Personally, I wouldnt mind a "flow" fishtank in my apartment. I really look forward to putting some photochops onto my wall as decor/art


home : furture of the web
By davezilla on 3/8/2007 8:16:25 AM , Rating: 2
its my personnal thinking, but i would love the web interface - firefox,ei to look and work like this.
The web is soooo dull now, all 2D and clicky. and very out of date.
I can see the writing on the wall for convensional web space. Imagine Bebo or multiply or even myspace and utube teaming up with Sony and building the next gen interweb, If and i really dobut that sony can market this correctly.
eg open it up a little so you can create your own content with *free* content creators.
It also needs to be cross placform compatable. They have the PSP on board (which btw) is the most intreasting thing to happend to non hacked PSP's since they have been released.
This need a PC/MAC client. and yes a Xbox360 and WII client.




RE: home : furture of the web
By CrazyBernie on 3/8/2007 9:00:48 PM , Rating: 2
So instead of Pop-ups and Pop-unders, you'll have Pop-all-over-the-places? :D


<no subject>
By Scabies on 3/7/2007 2:34:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The room may also be decorated from media stored on the PlayStation 3, such as music, images and videos. Phil Harrison demonstrated this by taking a picture with his camera and immediately uploading it to his virtual room

Best part, hands down.
though, I could see serious content abuse (think MySpace, hell even Second Life)

Aside from flagrantly (in some cases subtly) ripping off several ideas (with a somewhat original spin on each) I want to see some serious ripping on this announcement. Unless this isn't going to launch in the fall as announced (which really is a possibility) this may be one of scant few Sony announcements that dont suck or attract scorn.




I wish Microsoft would do this
By PitbulI on 3/7/2007 3:42:59 PM , Rating: 2
This would be something cool for Microsoft to have. Talking and walking in a lounge type place and have mini games to play.

For the first time, the PS3 has done something right. Now will they be charging for it?




Looks good
By SexyJames on 3/7/2007 5:56:48 PM , Rating: 2
Cool, this is actually the first good news I've heard about PS3, ever. I'm quite happy with my 360 and Wii but it'll be interesting to see how this service develops.




deja vu
By nphased on 3/8/2007 4:25:15 AM , Rating: 2
reminds me of snowcrash or neuromancer.. mostly snowcrash
anyone else read them?




looks pretty good
By R3MF on 3/8/2007 6:43:13 AM , Rating: 2
a console is finally providing something i see as added value, something which is not available for the PC which i want.

congrats to sony for achieving this.




By rupaniii on 3/8/2007 11:26:23 AM , Rating: 2
You have to KNOW that this thing is going to be the impetus of the VIRTUAL launch event. This is SONY'S SECOND LIFE.
Period. It looks pretty cool. I'm not going to say it's Perfect, nothing is. However, wouldn't it be cool to login and be able to switch your environment to a Launch Event theme for the release of Madden (everyone's in Football Gear or Cheerleader outfits), The Matrix (if it were to happen again), Your favorite RPG, Action Game etc.... This could really be something that is cool.
I don't know if Sony has that planned, but it certainly is very doable. Just make it a theme you could switch too. I ENCOURAGE Sony to make that theme 'available ahead of time' so you can say "Yes, i want to be a part of that launch event' and Sony's serves can piecemeal that while you do other things over a week or so, rather than have a big server crush for the launch events.




Customizable worlds
By KnightBreed on 3/8/2007 12:58:44 PM , Rating: 2
I would love to see this ship with a working map/mesh editor. Allow the community to build and upload their own environments that can fit into the existing world.

Not that I have that kind of skill, but it would be interesting to model your real life home and make it available for others.




WOW
By juggalo0707 on 3/8/2007 9:35:49 PM , Rating: 2
LLThat sounds so amazing. Also free of charge is a great plus accept if you want to be PIMP you can buy unique stuff. The PS3 is going ROX the Future. Better get my warranty updated.




GR8
By imran013 on 3/10/2007 2:29:14 AM , Rating: 2
It would having to do thing without being of anything !!!!!!!




VRML
By Spivonious on 3/12/2007 11:37:56 AM , Rating: 2
This is totally what VRML was supposed to be. Virtual stores that you actually walked through. Too bad it debuted when most people still had 9600 baud modems. Those 1MB VRML files took forever to download!




This could actually work
By BLOfelt22 on 3/7/2007 4:36:39 PM , Rating: 2
From what I gather from the article, you buy a PS3 and you get this pseudo-MMORPG.

Not bad at all considering that Everquest is a part of the Sony Empire. If they added more RPG-like skills sets and Game specific competitions Sony might actually have a winner.

They have the know how with Everquest and Planetside under their belts (I'll forget about Star Wars Galaxies for the sake of brevity). I imagine they will finally have a good measure of success considering a PC capable of handling most modern MMORPGs will set you at least a grand. Suddenly the PS3's $600USD dosen't seem so steep for a similar experience.

I know that you can't compare established PC Based MMORPGs to what Sony has now but the technology exists, the knowlege base exists thus the possibility exists.




RE: This could actually work
By derwin on 3/7/07, Rating: -1
I liked this better....
By Thoren on 3/8/2007 9:19:50 AM , Rating: 1
I liked this better when it was released as Microsoft Bob.

j/k, but I laugh at how Sony continues to fail over and over again at any sort of useful online experience for the PS crowd.




ps3
By sepirocth on 3/7/2007 2:31:01 PM , Rating: 2
wow, for the first time ever when i see something about sony ps3 i don't see ps3 hates(xbox fans) just talking crap and letting out alot of garbage from their mouth,lol, reason being because this playstation home is just awesome.




RE: ps3
By thebrown13 on 3/7/07, Rating: -1
RE: ps3
By MDE on 3/7/07, Rating: -1
"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs

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