While Sony has been accused of copying others ideas in the past (analog sticks, rumble, motion-sensing controls, etc) I think that Home is exactly what Sony needed to do. Even though some aspects of it may seem to be borrowed, the way Sony has chosen to combine these ideas is interesting and exciting. Allowing players to have realistic customizable avatars and living spaces full of achievement based accessories is sure to have PS3 owners giddy with anticipation. While it may not be a terribly compelling reason to pay $600 for a system that can currently only be described as the Resistance playing machine that is also a cheap Blu-ray player, it does go a long way to at least making you consider it as a serious online competitor. If Home is everything that Sony says it will be, the PS3 may have a chance to become the new online home console leader.
Pete Richards, Freelance Writer
Playstation Home does seem like a pretty cool idea and a nice extra feature on the PS3. Yet, it isn't the sole reason to purchase a PS3. Aside from awesome games already available and yet to be released, PS3 will be giving its owners something extra with Playstation Home, and as a free feature it may be equally or even more enjoyable than playing PS3 games. While it's not a completely new concept, Playstation Home is going to take virtual reality to a new level and, as years go by, it can only get better.
Previews of Playstation Home look most comparable to the Second Life site, which also combines virtual reality with video games and internet friend networking. Sony doesn't have a completely original idea, but it is still a good one. It will add a totally new element to Playstation that goes far beyond just playing video games. It does also feed off of what Nintendo has done with its Mii Channel and Microsoft with Xbox Live, but takes things to a whole new level.
What I think Sony has done with the PS3 is the opposite of what they did with the PS2. Rather than releasing their console before Nintendo and Microsoft, this time around they have released it after the other two, and in order to compete with them, are taking their ideas to the next level.
It's really too early to make a serious judgment about Playstation Home with the information that has been released so far. From what I've seen, it looks something like MySpace meets Grand Theft Auto. While the environment of the "home" looks like it could be bigger, the house does look very sweet and better than my real-life house which could make Sony's virtual reality better than reality-reality. It seems cool to decorate your room and add trophies from your PS3 achievements for bragging rights with your online "friends," if you can call them that. It will serve as a whole new reward for beating your games.
The ability to have typed conversations or audio conversations with a Bluetooth headset seems really cool. How members can physically contact each other in the virtual world is beyond me, as far as bumping into one another, et cetera. I can imagine some annoying users repeatedly running into people and talking a bunch of crap online, considering the key demographic of PS3 users. The ability to personally invite others into your customized room and to join mini-games should account for many hours of fun.
Sony also takes customizing your avatar to a new level, far greater than the Mii or Second Life does. PlayStation Home will allow the user to recreate his or herself with extreme detail, adding new gear and customizations as you wish. How accurate people are in creating what they really look like is the question, and I can foresee people creating themselves as supermodels and using the Playstation Home as a virtual dating program.
I personally can't wait to experience the Playstation Home, just to see if it will live up to its hype. I think it will be a huge success and one less reason to leave your house at all. Indeed Sony is expanding on ideas already thought-up by other companies, but I think as an added feature to the PS3, Playstation Home will be an interesting virtual world and will prove to be very, very addictive.