Posted by WallacetheGreat (555 posts) -

Several weeks ago my email's inbox was greeted with a message saying (in the fewest words possible), "Welcome, you have been invited to the Playstation Home beta." I can tell you a feeling of contempt washed over my face, as I had not signed up for any inclusion process or beta-code giveaway. So I said to myself, "Well, I guess I should be a good little beta tester and find as many bugs and/or glitches as I can so the masses won't be annoyed at launch day."

This picture is only here because I made a Prince of Persia reference.
Now here I am, weeks later, not having 'played' more than ten minutes since my invite, and Home is open for public use. "Oops," was all I could say when I first heard the news of the grand opening, and as I continued to play more Prince of Persia, the same feeling of indifference flooded my body like it had weeks ago. I had not gone back into Home for various reasons, one being the lack of English-speaking members (which made me feel a bit like I was lost in a foreign airport), and another having to do with the lack of......well......anything interesting to play and/or interact with. So with those experiences in mind, I was not too eager to "go back" Home once again, and with my newest trip through that virtual world, I was right to be hesitant.

Booting up Home was a bit of an arduous process yesterday, with many updates and re-downloads souring the experience. The avatar I had made before barely resembled me, mostly because I could tell any difference when I moved the face editor's sliders around. You're not given a lot of clothing to start with, just a few outfits and head accessories. Your living space is also very sparse, with only some white chairs and a sofa to decorate your swanky pad. Once your ready to leave your oceanside nest, be prepared to be greeted by many download/loading screens and prompts. These seems to happen whenever you enter a new area, but thankfully you can download these while you walk around in previously explored zones.

This is the mall. That is not me.
Downloading really seems to be a big krutch in Home at the moment, but that is natural considering the influx of new players. Waiting several minutes for the Theatre's entertainment to download was a very comical experience though, if only because of the commentary by my fellow audience members. "This is bullshit," one infuriated onlooker shouted through his grainy microphone, as several others began yelling at him to STFU. Once the video finally finished buffering I was surprised to find that instead of some Sony released movie or video, I was bombared with ads about the clip-on keyboard that was just released. Oh, how wonderful. So with that pleasant experience out of the way, I decided to head over to the mall to see what goods were available for purchase. The prices in the mall were reasonable, with most items ranging from fifty cent to one dollar, but as I continued with my shopping trip I realized something about myself: I refuse to pay for pointless, virtual goods. Before I exited the mall I noticed there was one avatar commenting on another's appearance. This went along the lines of "Damn, you looks fine...."

Add more "lolz" to make it look like the your typical conversation.
After browsing through the Home stores I decided to hit up the local arcade/entertainment-type place to see what fun could be had. Outside of the arcade was game where miniature spaceships pop bubbles for points, this by far was the most fun I had had in Home so far. Once inside the arcade things seemed to settle back into their usual internet ways. High pitched, horrible sounding microphones filled my speakers as memes were said aloud frequently and without justification. I was able to try a few arcade games, which while amusing few a few seconds, became very dull after several playthroughs. I was also able to participate in a game of bowling, which was interrupted by a player named GRAYFOX10, who decided to dance in our lane (much to my amusement). Afterward I tried a few of the sponsored areas, became even more bored and frustrated, and finally decided to sign off.

Truly Home, as it is now, is a pointless experience. Perhaps once more games become integrated and the space given to them is used to a better result, Home may be a worthy substitute to the XMB, but at the moment it feels like nothing more than another virtual chatroom. And if you consider the average experience you have online, that might not be a good thing.
#1 Posted by WallacetheGreat (555 posts) -

Several weeks ago my email's inbox was greeted with a message saying (in the fewest words possible), "Welcome, you have been invited to the Playstation Home beta." I can tell you a feeling of contempt washed over my face, as I had not signed up for any inclusion process or beta-code giveaway. So I said to myself, "Well, I guess I should be a good little beta tester and find as many bugs and/or glitches as I can so the masses won't be annoyed at launch day."

This picture is only here because I made a Prince of Persia reference.
Now here I am, weeks later, not having 'played' more than ten minutes since my invite, and Home is open for public use. "Oops," was all I could say when I first heard the news of the grand opening, and as I continued to play more Prince of Persia, the same feeling of indifference flooded my body like it had weeks ago. I had not gone back into Home for various reasons, one being the lack of English-speaking members (which made me feel a bit like I was lost in a foreign airport), and another having to do with the lack of......well......anything interesting to play and/or interact with. So with those experiences in mind, I was not too eager to "go back" Home once again, and with my newest trip through that virtual world, I was right to be hesitant.

Booting up Home was a bit of an arduous process yesterday, with many updates and re-downloads souring the experience. The avatar I had made before barely resembled me, mostly because I could tell any difference when I moved the face editor's sliders around. You're not given a lot of clothing to start with, just a few outfits and head accessories. Your living space is also very sparse, with only some white chairs and a sofa to decorate your swanky pad. Once your ready to leave your oceanside nest, be prepared to be greeted by many download/loading screens and prompts. These seems to happen whenever you enter a new area, but thankfully you can download these while you walk around in previously explored zones.

This is the mall. That is not me.
Downloading really seems to be a big krutch in Home at the moment, but that is natural considering the influx of new players. Waiting several minutes for the Theatre's entertainment to download was a very comical experience though, if only because of the commentary by my fellow audience members. "This is bullshit," one infuriated onlooker shouted through his grainy microphone, as several others began yelling at him to STFU. Once the video finally finished buffering I was surprised to find that instead of some Sony released movie or video, I was bombared with ads about the clip-on keyboard that was just released. Oh, how wonderful. So with that pleasant experience out of the way, I decided to head over to the mall to see what goods were available for purchase. The prices in the mall were reasonable, with most items ranging from fifty cent to one dollar, but as I continued with my shopping trip I realized something about myself: I refuse to pay for pointless, virtual goods. Before I exited the mall I noticed there was one avatar commenting on another's appearance. This went along the lines of "Damn, you looks fine...."

Add more "lolz" to make it look like the your typical conversation.
After browsing through the Home stores I decided to hit up the local arcade/entertainment-type place to see what fun could be had. Outside of the arcade was game where miniature spaceships pop bubbles for points, this by far was the most fun I had had in Home so far. Once inside the arcade things seemed to settle back into their usual internet ways. High pitched, horrible sounding microphones filled my speakers as memes were said aloud frequently and without justification. I was able to try a few arcade games, which while amusing few a few seconds, became very dull after several playthroughs. I was also able to participate in a game of bowling, which was interrupted by a player named GRAYFOX10, who decided to dance in our lane (much to my amusement). Afterward I tried a few of the sponsored areas, became even more bored and frustrated, and finally decided to sign off.

Truly Home, as it is now, is a pointless experience. Perhaps once more games become integrated and the space given to them is used to a better result, Home may be a worthy substitute to the XMB, but at the moment it feels like nothing more than another virtual chatroom. And if you consider the average experience you have online, that might not be a good thing.
#2 Posted by Sweep (8837 posts) -

I'm kinda dissapointed, even though I dont have a PS3. Home looks like it could have a lot of potential. I assume new areas will be added and special events will take place?

Moderator
#3 Posted by Rowr (5525 posts) -

Haha, glad to hear your enjoying it.

#4 Posted by crunchUK (5963 posts) -

just make a superintendant character

#5 Posted by Red (5994 posts) -

I think home is the most fun when you're:

  • Trying to be an idiot
  • Asking people where the graveyard is.
  • Meeting a nice person and having a conversation.
  • Meeting a nice person and playing a game of chess with them.
  • Struggling to log onto the game.
  • Making fun of the idiots who actually spent 50 cents to get a virtual picture frame.


#6 Posted by Rowr (5525 posts) -

But to be fair, everything is more fun under those criteria :P

#7 Posted by crunchUK (5963 posts) -

i personally think kthe wh0ole concept is stupid - why walk around some virtual place generally not doing much when there's loads of games to be played??

#8 Posted by TheJollyRajah (1576 posts) -

Home isn't THAT bad... it has it's moments. Yesterday I had had a nice conversation with some other guy and I even helped him out with the sub-account issue in Home. Afterwards he sent me a friend invite. Later on, I got at least 20 people doing the "running-man" dance in a straight line. It was fucking awesome.

However, there are many things about Home which could use some improvement, like the actual "Home" part of it. It's kind of disappointing that you only start out with one condo, a few pieces of furniture (even worse, they're all the same color), only a handful of wallpapers, and then you have to pay for the rest. It seems like Sony is really pushing for microtransactions, which is OK, but we at least should've been given more options to start out. And five dollars for another condo is a ridiculous amount.

I actually like the games, especially pool. It's simple to play, yet very fun. Chess and bowling are also pretty fun, but the arcade games need to be tweaked. Perhaps they should add some more variety to the selection, and also inlcude a ranking system for each arcade unit. I also kinda think the arcade games are out of place... I mean, Home is a huge social gathering for Sony gamers, but the arcade games sorta contradict the "social" part.

Home isn't very bad, but it also isn't very good. Who could complain? It's free and you don't need to use it if you don't want to. But remember, this is an open beta, and there is still hope for Home to dramatically improve, so don't come to conclusions too early.

crunchUK said:
"i personally think kthe wh0ole concept is stupid - why walk around some virtual place generally not doing much when there's loads of games to be played??"
And if it were released for the 360 it would be the grandest thing ever contrived by the human race.
#9 Posted by TwoOneFive (9459 posts) -
Sweep said:
"I'm kinda dissapointed, even though I dont have a PS3. Home looks like it could have a lot of potential. I assume new areas will be added and special events will take place?"
indeed, thats what i look forward to in it. 
#10 Posted by crunchUK (5963 posts) -
TheJollyRajah said:
"Home isn't THAT bad... it has it's moments. Yesterday I had had a nice conversation with some other guy and I even helped him out with the sub-account issue in Home. Afterwards he sent me a friend invite. Later on, I got at least 20 people doing the "running-man" dance in a straight line. It was fucking awesome.
However, there are many things about Home which could use some improvement, like the actual "Home" part of it. It's kind of disappointing that you only start out with one condo, a few pieces of furniture (even worse, they're all the same color), only a handful of wallpapers, and then you have to pay for the rest. It seems like Sony is really pushing for microtransactions, which is OK, but we at least should've been given more options to start out. And five dollars for another condo is a ridiculous amount.

I actually like the games, especially pool. It's simple to play, yet very fun. Chess and bowling are also pretty fun, but the arcade games need to be tweaked. Perhaps they should add some more variety to the selection, and also inlcude a ranking system for each arcade unit. I also kinda think the arcade games are out of place... I mean, Home is a huge social gathering for Sony gamers, but the arcade games sorta contradict the "social" part.

Home isn't very bad, but it also isn't very good. Who could complain? It's free and you don't need to use it if you don't want to. But remember, this is an open beta, and there is still hope for Home to dramatically improve, so don't come to conclusions too early.

crunchUK said:
"i personally think kthe wh0ole concept is stupid - why walk around some virtual place generally not doing much when there's loads of games to be played??"
And if it were released for the 360 it would be the grandest thing ever contrived by the human race.
"
not really. i bought a console to play games not to spend time socializing over the internet in some crappy virtual world
#11 Edited by BiggerBomb (6944 posts) -

I don't own a PS3, but from what I have heard of Home, it seems to be simply framework for updates. From your description (and Ryan's,) I'm thinking this may turn out bigger than the impressions of this "beta."