Some weeks after the official announcement of the Playstation Home "virtual world", now I've seen (at last) the official video/trailer:
I think that it is a fantastic idea to improve the social relations of gamers, who sometimes are a bit anti-social, and to make new friendships (even if just for playing online).
It is curious how things evolve with time:
- First, Microsoft creates the concept of Gamertag for its XBox 360. It is simply an online profile with an associated gaming scored that 360 games give when specific goals are met.
- They also have a 2D, tabbed (they call the tabs "blades") menu/interface, the XBox dashboard, where you can see your gamertag, send text/voice messages to your friends,and visit the online marketplace to download and buy stuff.
- Then, Nintendo liked the idea of the 360's Gamertag and created the Wii, a customizable 3D representation/avatar of the player. It doesn't have a gamerscore, but definetly is more personal.
- Also, they liked the 360's dashboard... and for their Wii they created the Wii Channels, a minimalistic, very easy to use GUI, suitable for all ages.
- In fact, Wii's version of the Sims will be cartoonish too, much like the Miis.
- And now appears the Playstation Home. A place where you create a realistic 3D avatar...
- And "live" in a virtual, 3D realistic mini-world as if it were the dashboard (complete with "gamerscore" as 3D trophys)
So, I think is fantastic as a social gaming concept. But, I don't think it is revolutionary nor new.. is just getting what works from other places and putting it together: The 360 marketplace and achievement system, the Wii's 3D Avatars, The Sims customization and gaming concept, the Second Life MMOG idea... Even the dances you see on the video are a copy of the ones you can do at WoW :D
Apart from the innovation point, Playstation Home system also brings me one doubt: are we going too much "virtual"?
It is not too much having a virtual house where to chat with your friends, with virtual furniture, virtual clothing, virtual music...?
I like RPGs and MMORPGs a lot, in fact I've been playing them since 4-5 years... But nothing compares to going out with friends and having some fun. Videogames and other tools like MSN Messenger help in social relations, but shouldn't be the base of social relations...
I have friends who live more on their virtual world (inside World of Warcraft) than in the real one. I mighthave passion for videogames, but if someone phones me for a beer I don't even think about staying at home
BTW, Sony thinks is not any bad, of course ;) Mainly because you can bet most of the virtual contents (furniture, clothing and so) will be sold, not free. So the more time you spend in the virtual world, more money you could spend in virtual stuff. I think I prefer my "just a monthly fee and infinite monsters to kill" mode :)
So, I think it will be fun, but also that the main purpose of Sony is to build a Sims Online clone to make some money now that the "online-mania" is high, so don't expect a revolution ;)