Home offers most "user friendly" experience, says Festejo

Ron Festejo, the Creative Director of PlayStation Home, has described Sony’s forthcoming online initiative as the "best-looking" and most “user friendly” multiplayer experience he has ever witnessed.

"From my point of view, looking at Second Life – because it has been mentioned a lot in the same paragraph as Home, and people make that comparison – I’m amazed at how many people go on there," said Festejo, during an interview with

Festejo went on to talk about various issues faced with other Second Life platforms, such as complications for first time users, along with the importance of user interface, of which he considers Home to offer the best.

"John [Venables, Home’s lead artist] said in a presentation that for a lot of people, their first experience of online play is to ‘log on…get shot in the face, log on…get shot in the face’ and actually that’s true – people tend to not go into that because of those experiences," he stated.

"Personally, looking at other models, a lot of them are too hardcore, a lot of them are garish in the way they look. I think what we’ve done with Home is have the best-looking multiplayer world – and actually the most user-friendly that I’ve seen as well."

"We don’t have anything in there that’s appealing to that kind of geeky audience that you might find in Second Life."

Venables meanwhile, who has worked with the Home project since it was first conceived on PlayStation 2, stressed that it is important the company maintains a high "quality bar" for the service, pointing to how the PlayStation 3 offers the developers the chance to keep a “polished” look, unlike how things worked with Linden Lab’s efforts with Second Life.

“Essentially, with the Second Life example – and partly the disparity of the graphics, because you have to cater for the lowest-end PC whereas on the PlayStation 3 it’s a level playing-field – with something so organic as Home, with features being added, it’s difficult to set that benchmark of how many polygons to throw around, and how many to save for future things that we may or may not want to do," he explained.

"I think the PS3 platform has given us an advantage in terms of keeping a polished look, and it not to look like Second Life. I don’t want to dis Second Life, obviously they’ve been successful and they have to cater for people with old Pentium IIs and whatever, so I can understand why it looks the way it does.

"So it’s not to criticise them, it’s just that as a PlayStation 3 online space it was very important that there is a quality bar that we want to hit."