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Dec 17 2008
By: J-A-G-O Sackboy 304 posts
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*** An Alternative Perspective: Playstation Home ***

7 replies 13 views Edited Dec 17, 2008

Hey dudes,

I have been reading of feedback in regards to how players are reacting to Playstation Home and thought I could provide an alternative perspective to the online community itself. As usually, my goal is always to be objective and unbiased. This is not about taking sides, but more so, about calling things as neutrally as possible. Thanks to anyone who is willing to take a read in advance.

Disclaimer
The goal of this post is simply to offer an alternative way of looking at Playstation Home in regards to its purpose, its uses, etc. The purpose of this thread is not to anyway disregard, bash, or disprove anyone elses beliefs or thoughts. Just as an overall note. Playstation Home isn't a game, it's a community; therefore, it shouldn't be treated as one. It should be treated for all the possibilities it brings. However, in the interest of making my life easier, I would rather refer to it as a game in this post.

 

Overview
I have seen and spoken to a lot of people who have feel like Playstation Home is a subpar game. Many have said things such as "home is a waste of time" or it "sucks" -- but I argue that if one takes the overall purpose of what Playstation Home is into consideration, then many can stop seeing it as being a "game" and more of a "hub" for members of the Playstation Community.

The Misconception

I believe that the first mistake some players are making is that they are treating Playstation Home to the same standards that they would SOCOM, Metal Gear, Final Fantasy, or an y other game-- when in reality it is not. At this time, there is no combat system, level system, objective, etc

 

Also, I believe that users that may be apprehensive about Playstation Home should take note that this is an OPEN BETA. That means that although the game is available to the public, that it is still in a growing state. That means that all planned features have not implemented, things are subjected to change, and the game is being tweaked overall. One of the benefits of an OPEN BETA is that the sample size of the viewing audience increases greatly. This means that developers can get a greater understanding of how the game holds up under large-scale conditions.

So What Is The Point?
I argue that the point of Playstation Home is to be a HUB between Playstation Network users that allow them to interact, communicate, and exchange information in a virtual environment. Simply said Playstation Home allows Sony to accomplish two major goals:

1. To allow members of the Playstation network to connect via a centralized environment. So whether than things seeming to act independently of the PSN with their only links being the XMB, I believe that now Playstation users can be linked to this central environment that is available to virtually anyone with a PS3. New friends creates greater retention, greater use of word-of-mouth marketing, etc.

 

Having features such as mini-games create player retention. They create more reasons for the players to continue using the service. 

 

 

            There are more people in this picture then on my PSN friends list

 

 

2. To advertise products, services, etc in a centralized HUB. Let's face it. Sony is a business. Their affiliates are businesses. Their goals will -always- be to push their products. What better way to market a product then to have a direct link into the homes of all those within a proven demographic without the costs of television advertising?

 

                                     As you can see by the HUGE billboard below

 

 

As you can see with the image below, there are clearly billboards in the game which definately should let users know that there is still a very strong marketing backbone to Playstation Home's premise.

What I Would Like To See / What Is Missing
Before anything, I would like to note that Playstation Home will definitely change/grow as time goes by (especially as it exits open beta). Considering there are already several posts about what users would suggest for the game, I am going to focus on general concepts that I feel will make home a more cohesive community.

 

a) Greater Synergy - I feel that it needs a more defined way of gathering like-minded users into the same areas. I know in the future this will be done via Game-Specific Home Spaces, however, in order for this to work optimally, there needs to be a level of interconnectivity between the games that have home-spaces and the Playstation Home itself.

For example, for users playing SOCOM: Confrontation, there needs to be a direct way for users to interface between environments-- even if it is a simple link on the developers website linking to the home-space... Such as.. Visit our Slant Six Games on Playstation Home.

 

b) Connectivity to the forums - I am not saying that every thread has to be accessible. However, much of the Playstation network's bread and butter come from the continuing support of the community; therefore, I feel that there should always be a way to stay connected at all times without using the internet browser. 

 

c) Ways to Make Money - I know I may get flamed for this, but I feel like in-game currency can do wonders. I do agree with the fact that buying real money for a virtual couch is a bit silly. However, I think that allowing users ways to generate that money is a good idea (by being a tour guide or moderator). Granted there will always be more users than jobs available, there has to be some way to make it so that players whom do not wish to/or cannot avoid to buy the house of their dreams can do so.

 

d) More Activities - I know this topic has probably been discussed a lot already, but I feel that Playstation Home needs a slew of activites for users of all ages, genders, and preferences to play. Even if Sony has to go back to the basics of card games, board games, etc etc... More Activites == Greater Replayability. 

 

e) Playstation Home meets the SDK - I am not sure if this has ever been mentioned, but I believe that allowing users of programming backgrounds to utilize Playstation's Software Development Kit can do wonders for the level of innovation and expansion of Playstation Home. This means a richer content base, faster growth of the game, and more of an emphasis on the community. Even with moderation, you would be surprised how fast Second Home can become massive enough SDK support.

 

Conclusion
I believe that Playstation Home should be looked at in the same regard to how we look at Social Networking sites such as Myspace, Facebook, Xanga, etc. For Sony, it opens up the possibility of developing a stronger platform for sending a product directly to a demographic. Simiarly, to how advertisers and companies use social networking sites to gain insight on the interests of users, Sony can do the same thing by analyzing how Playstation Home players utilize the game.

In the end, Playstation Home can be used as an effective means at meeting people, similar to Second Life. Considering not many people have the Playstation 3 console (when compared to other systems), Playstation Home can open up the possibility of bringing gamers within the Playstation Network together. The members of forums have done an excellent job providing feedback in to ways to shape the game. If Sony does honor these requests in the end, then they can be assured that they will have a game that users will continue to play. As usual, thanks for the read.

Message Edited by J-A-G-O on 12-16-2008 07:11 PM
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Sackboy
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Re: *** An Alternative Perspective: Playstation Home ***

Dec 17, 2008
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Fender Bender
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Re: *** An Alternative Perspective: Playstation Home ***

Dec 17, 2008

Wow this is a huge post and i'm sure you've made a lot of points I didn't bother to read.   Just want to correct you on one thing though....Home is NOT a "game" !!!  It's an online community.

 

Edit:  Now that I read a little more of your post...all I can say is, Home hasn't even been out a week yet.  I'm sure Sony wants Home to be all those things you mentioned, but again, it's only been out a week.  Give Sony time to grow Home up to it's potential.  I'm sure Home will be everything you suggested it should be one day, but it can't be everything to everybody this early.

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Sackboy
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Re: *** An Alternative Perspective: Playstation Home ***

Dec 17, 2008

No need for the disclaimers and overviews and stuff, just get to the meat of your post.

 

You did a good job presenting your perspective.  I disagree on a lot but I think it is a valid and positive post.  Good work.

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Uncharted Territory
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Re: *** An Alternative Perspective: Playstation Home ***

Dec 20, 2008

Oh... J-A-G-O, Oh.... J-A-G-O, If You don't work for the SCEA or on of the Companies working with the SCEA You & I both should be offered a Job/Career with the SCEA or one of those other Companies. I know that People can just read some of Our post & get what one wants out of them if found useful, However from what I've read from some of Your different post within these Threads I would say that You are a very thoughtful Person when it comes to Videogames & the Videogame Industry (As I am Myself also), and with that said the SCEA & Sony wouldn't go wrong if They helped to harness both of Our potential ASAP ( While the time & topics are relevant).

 

Anyway, I did read the post that You put together within this Thread, I'm just going to comment on one aspect that You pointed out.

 

I agree, there should be some sort of incentive added into Home (a way for certain People to earn Money within Home), One way would be a percentage payback element that gives a small percentage of Money back to Users within Home whom Buy a certain amount of items within Home during a certain Day or time within Home.

 

Or/and there could be areas that could be rented out within Home that allow individual Users to build "Virtual Entertainment Areas" using the items that the individual has brought or has within ones individual inventory, which other Users would pay Money to the creator of that area in order to enter & spend time within quoted area of that user whom created that area.

 

 

And yes, I have mentioned some of these same topics & suggestions within other Threads before Today.

 

It's good to see other People whom want to be insightful & helpful within these Forums, Kudos! 

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I Only Post Everything
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Re: *** An Alternative Perspective: Playstation Home ***

Dec 20, 2008
dont feget its still in the beta stage when its not you can yell all you want
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Splicer
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Re: *** An Alternative Perspective: Playstation Home ***

Dec 20, 2008

a) Greater Synergy - I feel that it needs a more defined way of gathering like-minded users into the same areas. I know in the future this will be done via Game-Specific Home Spaces, however, in order for this to work optimally, there needs to be a level of interconnectivity between the games that have home-spaces and the Playstation Home itself.


For example, for users playing SOCOM: Confrontation, there needs to be a direct way for users to interface between environments-- even if it is a simple link on the developers website linking to the home-space... Such as.. Visit our Slant Six Games on Playstation Home.


This is a limitation of the PS3's OS. It was never designed for application mutitasking, but rather simple task switching. The Xbox system, on the other hand, is a full-fledged mutitasking OS based on the XP kernel. On the Xbox,  little persistent programs called services can shim their way into any Xbox game. The PS3 OS has to unload parts of itself to load others. This is why you can't have in-game music/load in the background/call up the XMB during gameplay.  

 

 


b) Connectivity to the forums - I am not saying that every thread has to be accessible. However, much of the Playstation network's bread and butter come from the continuing support of the community; therefore, I feel that there should always be a way to stay connected at all times without using the internet browser. 


 Connecting Home to the wilds of the internet is asking for security breaches. However an BBS in home might be a good idea. The one they have now with the club system is lacking.

 

 


c) Ways to Make Money - I know I may get flamed for this, but I feel like in-game currency can do wonders. I do agree with the fact that buying real money for a virtual couch is a bit silly. However, I think that allowing users ways to generate that money is a good idea (by being a tour guide or moderator). Granted there will always be more users than jobs available, there has to be some way to make it so that players whom do not wish to/or cannot avoid to buy the house of their dreams can do so.


Never going to happen. Home is a marketing platform first and foremost. The reason you can't trade inventory with anyone else is by design. Trying to sell a character with purchased goods (via Ebay and the like) will likely result in the character being banned from Home. As far as user content creation goes, I'm pretty sure Sony doesn't want their own users competing with what is being sold at the mall. Home's real end game is to make money for Sony, and will aggressively defend that ability.   

 

 


d) More Activities - I know this topic has probably been discussed a lot already, but I feel that Playstation Home needs a slew of activities for users of all ages, genders, and preferences to play. Even if Sony has to go back to the basics of card games, board games, etc etc... More Activites == Greater Replayability. 
I'm sure this is in the works, but don't expect it to be more than simple web browser flash games or simple toys. 

 

 


e) Playstation Home meets the SDK - I am not sure if this has ever been mentioned, but I believe that allowing users of programming backgrounds to utilize Playstation's Software Development Kit can do wonders for the level of innovation and expansion of Playstation Home. This means a richer content base, faster growth of the game, and more of an emphasis on the community. Even with moderation, you would be surprised how fast Second Home can become massive enough SDK support.

Developers have to pay $10,000 for the PS3 dev kit and be a real software development house. Sony actively blocks access to the RSX chip so hobby programmers can not make games for the system. (firmware 2.10) If you want to make games for the PS3, pay and produce like everyone else. 

 

 

 


Conclusion
I believe that Playstation Home should be looked at in the same regard to how we look at Social Networking sites such as Myspace, Facebook, Xanga, etc. For Sony, it opens up the possibility of developing a stronger platform for sending a product directly to a demographic. Simiarly, to how advertisers and companies use social networking sites to gain insight on the interests of users, Sony can do the same thing by analyzing how Playstation Home players utilize the game.


When you compare Home with Myspace, Facebook,and Xanga, you will find that, as a Social Networking Service, Home fails badly. I don't know what the future might bring, but as of right now, the only thing you will be seeing are stability/bug fixes. As for added content, you will see new rooms and new virtual items for sale, but the backend is done.

 

 

Message Edited by Populon on 12-20-2008 05:17 AM
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Lombax Warrior
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Re: *** An Alternative Perspective: Playstation Home ***

Dec 20, 2008

J-A-G-O wrote:

e) Playstation Home meets the SDK - I am not sure if this has ever been mentioned, but I believe that allowing users of programming backgrounds to utilize Playstation's Software Development Kit can do wonders for the level of innovation and expansion of Playstation Home. This means a richer content base, faster growth of the game, and more of an emphasis on the community. Even with moderation, you would be surprised how fast Second Home can become massive enough SDK support.


Good post!  This is an interesting idea here.  I'm sure there are quite a lot of talented people around that wouldn't mind taking a crack at making their own space.  Maybe integrate it into the clubhouse system?  Otherwise, that World Map could get pretty huge and unweildy pretty fast.   

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