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By (March 23, 2009) ()

I briefly tried Playstation Home on the PS3 a few months ago. Playstation Home is a an online world similar to second life that Sony offers for free on their gaming console. You download it to your Playstation’s hard drive, and login through your (already created) Playstation Online account. Once there, you create an avatar, or multiple avatars, and you can roam Sony’s virtual world. It’s much like a cross between Facebook and Second Life. All the content is regulated (and sanitized) by Sony. There is a virtual mall, dance floor, bowling alley, bar, town square, and of course, apartment. You can buy virtual furnishings and clothing, play arcade games, and chat with everyone via text or your Bluetooth headset. There is a ton of promotional content everywhere for Sony’s games, and unlockable secret areas you can only enter by beating parts of different games. The whole thing is quite effective, especially since you already have a “friend list” of all the people you play games with built into the system, and this is automatically imported into Home.

Right now, the content is sparse and the experience is a bit stilted but I think with time this type of environment will become incredibly rich and immersive. The only thing roadblock, and it’s a big one, is the lack of user-generated content. There is no question that we’re running out of free public space in the real world, perhaps users won’t notice the same shrinking public space in the online world?

March 23, 2009

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