PlayStation Home is Incredible, and Sony Sucks at Advertising It

3. February, 2013 Articles, PS3, PSN 4 comments
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PlayStation Home, some have heard about it but have never really heard much about it, right? What If I were to say that Home is without a doubt the best avatar service out of any console, yes, better than Nintendo’s and Microsoft’s avatar services by a massive leap. If you think I’m crazy by saying that, if you think that all you do in Home is bowl and play pool, then you really need to read this article, and you are also a good example of why Sony sucks at advertising Home.

I have been a user of Home since the closed beta days, I remember watching the live video when they unveiled Home, ever since the launch, I have been a huge fan. For about two years after the service launched, I made it a point to visit at least once a week and now I visit about once every two weeks. In short, since I first joined, the service has completely rocketed forward as far as features go.

What If I told you that you and your friends could all sit down in your Home apartment and watch full-length MOVIES together at the same time…

Yes, televisions are now a thing in Home, you can purchase personal apartments inside Home or get televisions on multiple sizes and place them around your apartment and you and your friends can all sit down on the couch and watch an entire movie over Crackle with your headsets on chatting and laughing about it all in one place, that is possible. Want to watch District 9 with your friends? You can watch that FREE in Home.

Home FriendsFriends having a blast watching full-length movies in Home!

Or what if three friends wanted to watch a movie and two other friends wanted to play pool in your apartment while streaming R&B off a virtual radio in Home. Maybe everyone wants to listen to streamed music off the TV instead, switch on a “radioIO“ station (similar to Pandora) and play real, current, new, mainstream music of many different stations and genres right there in your home apartment! What about Revision3 shows? Or what about programming from UFC? Or Ustream? There’s that too.

Did you know you could do this? Unfortunately, the answer is probably no.

What if I told you that you could play an entire city building game inside of home free of charge, or what about a futuristic racing game like WipEout for free, or visit and play in a casino?

A city building game? It’s probably crappy, nope! It’s not a Sim City, but it is very advanced, remember that this is an avatar service, yet with that in mind this city building game allows you to place roads, buildings, parks, manage money, populations, drive vehicles, do missions, walk around the city, visit your friends cities and drive around them too, leaderboards, stats, progression, this could be a full-length PSN game, but it’s actually free inside PlayStation Home.

There is a game series called “Sodium” – the first game in the series is a massive hover-vehicle/salt-shooter game that goes really in-depth with stats and ranks, the second one is “Sodium 2,” which is a futuristic hover car type game, a lot like WipEout series. I played both of these game but not to a serious extent, but I can say that they are both extremely detailed for being inside of PlayStation Home with surprisingly excellent controls, the games literally could be their own PSN games, but they’re free, inside of Home.

Speaking of games, there are so many of them, the ones above were some of the more recent games. I forgot to mention the multiple third person and first person shooters inside of PlayStation Home, I forgot to mention the massive quiz games like the Buzz! quiz game inside of home that reminds me of the 1 vs 100 game that was on Xbox Live, where in the Buzz! game you and dozens of others are standing on a stage and are given a user-submitted questions and A, B, C, and D answers and everyone rushes to what they think is the correct answer, the person with the highest score is shown high and brightly at the end of the match.

timthumbThe Home Bingo Hall was very much packed to my surprise!

There’s a golf game, puzzle games, carnival game spaces, super-hero game spaces, RC Racing game spaces, there is a bowling alley, there is a space based for Assassin’s Creed, there is a space for Konami called the “Konami Penthouse” with an interactive dance floor, there’s an actual casino with a very large amount of different games to play within that space, and a lot of people go there to play too. In fact, I went to the Bingo Hall where to my surprise dozens upon dozens of people were packed inside playing bingo, chatting, and competing with each other, I was kinda shocked to see this, but at the same time, it was also very cool. The list of game spaces goes on and on as you can imagine.

Did you know you could do this? Unfortunately, the answer is probably no.

What if I told you…

It doesn’t even come close to stopping there, there is so much content in Home that I couldn’t even imagine covering just in this article. There is the “Sportswalk,” a main area in Home where you can chill in a bar and meet other people with realtime scores on the ticker above with people playing poker next to you, you’re able to join them at any time, with other Home community users serving you drinks at the bar.

Home PokerNothing like a friendly game of poker at the Sportswalk!

People walk around with the coolest costumes, like people fully dressed as Helghasts from Killzone, or people riding scooters, or having pet tigers follow them. Don’t worry, most people dress decently though, so it doesn’t look like a circus! Remember those friends you were in the apartment with earlier, now you’re all exploring Home in completely different spaces but still voice chatting to each other in a group-channel. You can even all launch into a game directly from Home without even having to leave Home at all, some games even have support for setting up parties and options directly from home!

Home is simply incredible, especially for being a free avatar service, especially where it was a few years ago and where it is now, especially with all of the content that releases for it every two years. Home to this day surely has no lack of support, in fact there is major content being published every two weeks still and updates are constantly coming out to make it better (one update coming very soon). When Sony said the average user spends nearly an hour in Home, I would easily believe that.

Did you know you could do this? Unfortunately, the answer is probably no.

Now the part about Sony sucking at advertising Home…

So if in fact you did actually know about all this, then congratulations, you are part of the well informed select few. Most people that read this will have had no Earthly idea of all of the features listed here and may even be shocked at what they hear. This is why Sony sucks at advertising Home to PlayStation users. If you are the select few that knew this all, you definitely didn’t hear about all this from Sony, you heard about it by going into Home and mostly seeking out yourself.

Originally, Home was supposed to be given it’s own section in the XMB, with a bunch of sub-categories relating to the service of interest, instead the service is a sub-category under the PlayStation Network section of the XMB. Highlighting over the Home icon gives you a brief description of the service itself and nothing that I covered above.

Home XMBOriginally, Home was going to have its own section on the XMB.

Why doesn’t Home have its own category? This service is actually very massive and can have many attractive sub-categories that advertise watching Crackle and streaming music with friends, the popular Casino space, the City Building Sim, and everything else directly from the XMB. That would be a start.

There’s a thing that Microsoft’s and Nintendo’s consoles’ avatar systems are well known for, their integration with their own respective consoles. Why isn’t there more integration with Home and the PS3 itself? Why can I not make a photo of my Home avatar be my PSN avatar? Why when people pull up my PSN Profile, can they not see stats and info from my Home career? Why does this service feel completely and utterly separate from the PlayStation 3 when it’s actually a huge part of it? Where’s that trophy space that was first unveiled years ago to make the trophy system integrate with Home?

Now don’t get me wrong, Home is still very successful and has a huge base of supporters, every space that I go into, even the oldest, crappiest space has people in them walking around, it’s actually incredible to see that. However, there are so many people that do not know about the service, and so many people that would like to use the things I described above but don’t actually know about them. My only hope is that Sony takes a greater, integrated focus with Home and its impressive features on their next console.

As for everyone else, check out PlayStation Home when you get the chance, you’ll probably be surprised at what you find!

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BlindMango

I am a visually impaired tropical fruit with firm yellowish-red skin and a juicy pulp.

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Comments
  1. Tyler

    2 / 3 / 2013 12:06 pm

    Great article. Clearly lots of time and effort put into it. I wish more people would use HOME to give me more incentive to do so as well.

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  2. someone

    2 / 3 / 2013 4:07 pm

    home has come along way. one thing it needs. trophysupport. for the home games. sodium, the new shooter thingy, and that rpgish game. it would get alot of people into home. get them to try it. make clubs/hangouts related to trophys. free pr on trophysites. (free pr for the publishers aswell).

    trophys and you will get a diffrent crowed into home.

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  3. Falioc

    2 / 4 / 2013 9:31 am

    Nice article

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  4. whine_whoa_man_and_thong

    2 / 4 / 2013 12:51 pm

    Shhhhh. Move along people. Nothing to see here.

    (We don’t need more people on Home. The servers apparently can barely handle the load now. Public spaces are laggy. It takes too long to download into them and then have every feature fully functioning.)

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