The Ghosts of PlayStation Home's Past
- Posted December 17th, 2010 at 00:13 EDT by PSU Community
- 10 Comments
[Editor’s Note: The following article comes from user Jamie Stephens (Galvanise_). Jamie is 22 and comes from England. He’s an avid gamer, and as you’ll see from his article below, he knows a lot about PlayStation Home. We encourage all of our users to pitch us story ideas for the homepage of PSU. You can do so by sending the editors messages in the forums. We’d like to thank Jamie for covering an often overlooked part of the PS3 package.]
The Ghosts of PlayStation Home's Past
By Jamie Stephens
Christmas is rapidly approaching, and in keeping with that festive spirit, we have prepared a set of informative pieces based upon Sony’s PlayStation Home platform. Put on your slippers, light a few candles and prepare to go on a journey with PSU as we explore PlayStation Home past, present and future. Up first, we explore the ghosts of PlayStation Home’s past.
Part One: PlayStation Home past
What is the first thing you think of when you read the words ‘PlayStation Home?’ For some people, Home is merely an icon that sits under the PlayStation Network column of their XMB. They are unaware of the thriving online community hidden behind the sleek façade that greets them as they turn on their PS3. Some may wish that Sony was not wasting their time and money with the service, while many others spend hours and a lot of money in Home every week. To date, PlayStation Home has more than 17 million users, spending an average of 70 minutes per visit inside the service. That’s right; Home has more users than the best selling PlayStation 3 game.
For the uninitiated, PlayStation Home is a free service that allows users to create an avatar and socialise with other PlayStation gamers in an interactive 3D world. There is nothing else like it on any other gaming console. Users can interact with each other using voice and text chat in addition to playing games co-operatively and competitively with other users. It’s a rather marvellous service.
Home began life as a 2D online lobby for the PlayStation 2 SCE Studio London game, The Getaway: Black Monday, and was initially known as Hub. The online community for the PlayStation 2 was, to put it bluntly, tiny, so Sony started porting the code to the PlayStation 3.
When it was first announced at the 2007 Game Developers Conference (GDC) by Phil Harrison, who was President of Sony’s Worldwide Studios group at the time, it was seen as an exciting and innovative endeavour for a platform holder. There was a large amount of hype and buzz with regards to the possibilities of this service and many people were excited when they discovered that Home was set for an October 2007 launch on the PlayStation Network. Home was in development by SCE Studio London and SCE Studio Cambridge.
Home was eventually delayed several times before its public beta release on the Dec. 11, 2008. Sony Computer Entertainment president Kazuo (Kaz) Hirai explained the reasoning behind the delay, saying: “Spending more time on the development and on the Closed Beta testing reaffirms our commitment to bringing a quality service.” Since then we have learned that internally at Sony, there were concerns regarding the actual content of Home. In a 2007 edition of the Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, Hirai said, “I personally am not satisfied with the current version of Home.” Other people connected to the platform have since stated that there was focus applied to the wrong aspects of Home. Sony was spending too much time putting in features that would enable a high volume of advertising instead of developing features that would appeal to gamers.
Since PlayStation Home has launched, however, we have witnessed a large transformation in the service. In March 2009, an ARG (Alternate Reality Game) Home Space named Xi caused waves of intrigue to spread throughout the service. This service used the Internet in combination with games inside a Home space to get the home community to interact. Developed by nDreams, this game, comprised of twelve spaces, asked Home users to find clues, ... (continued on next page)
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- 9:34pm EST - December 16th, 2010
I tried Home the week it was released. I toyed with it for a few hours, got bored, deleted it and never tried it again. Things seem so much different now, I may take it for a spin in the near future.
- 12:20am EST - December 17th, 2010
Will definitely read this article later and post my thoughts, unfortunately no time to do so now :P interesting article though.
1solidsnake | solid1snake67
- 10:16am EST - December 17th, 2010
home is okay but i dont go in anymore, maybe i'll start again to see if there is anything new.
- 2:48pm EST - December 17th, 2010
its a good job I read the disclaimer otherwise I would have called for the sacking on a writer :snicker
seriously though. well written article.
- 3:10pm EST - December 17th, 2010
Agreed...Good job Galvanise.
- 3:40pm EST - December 17th, 2010
Thanks for reading the article guys!
The next one in the series will be more informative for those of you who were initially skeptical and how now feel Home is worth another punt. I'll be discussing the features, games, socialising, special events and visuals.
- 4:52am EST - December 18th, 2010
Post removed by author.
- 3:19pm EST - December 19th, 2010
Playstation home is for people who dont have a life lol hahahahahahahahaha who ever plays home!!!! your a loser!! forever and your mom doesnt like you
BlindMango | BlindMango
- 6:16pm EST - December 20th, 2010
Home is doing great, I explored it yesterday actually and found a lot of new neat things. I am usually active inside home but over the past 2 months I have been slacking, great service though, people would be surprised. I am still waiting for important features though like Netflix and Pandora support in personal apartments and stuff like that inside Home but that has yet to come.
- 10:54am EST - December 21st, 2010
My old PS3 died while in Home. I have not been back since.
This will permanently ban this user and delete all associated comments. This action is irreversible, are you SURE you want to do this?!