It’s been too long in being released, and the one thing that the majority of PS3 owners have been so eagerly awaiting.
PlayStation Home is finally live around the world……and it’s still hard to get onto it!
I am keeping in mind that this is only the BETA version, so it’s nowhere near as big or popular as it will eventually be, and you can tell. This is but a taster of what’s to come, with a few hiccups until the full version is available.
When the Home icon appeared on my XMB (Cross Media Bar), I thought it was Christmas Day. So I downloaded and installed the 77MB file and pressed ‘X’ to get it going!
A note to you all, you will need 3GB of HDD (Hard Drive) space on your PS3 to save additional data for the environments.
Error C-9013 or something like that popped up on my screen! WHAT?!?
Can’t connect to the server, or I was logged out! I can only imagine that these errors were coming up because of the number of people trying to connect at once! It was like the 17:15 train home had been cancelled for a year and there were no trains till now and a billion people trying to get onto 2 carriages!
I suppose I can let Sony off…for now, as it is only the BETA.
Since then, I have been able to log on a couple of times and have a play around, and I can see this being very impressive once it’s up and running properly.
The first thing you do is create your avatar by moulding the shape of your head and facial features and then dressing your avatar.
The attention to detail is quite good, but I managed to get a more lifelike image on Pro Evo 5 than I did on Home.
Once you’ve created your avatar you’re in your apartment with a few select items of furniture that you can move around anywhere within your space. Maybe even sit down…..great! Now what?!
When you’ve finished playing around in your ‘Home’, you get to step out into the virtual world, but don’t expect everything to be open! So far there is only a theatre which plays a few trailers, a bowling alley where you can hear annoying music and you can play bowling or shoot some pool. And then there’s the shopping mall where you can buy (with real money) more items of clothing or additional furniture – prices start from 59p for clothing items and furniture up to £3.99 for a differently themed apartment.
The loading times after downloading the files can be a little annoying but it’s good fun when you get into where you want to be.
I think we’ve been a little short-changed here in the UK as always, as in the US of A they were meant to be able to go into themed environments like Uncharted: Drakes Fortune and Resistance, but obviously us Europeans can’t! Apparently, America is a bigger place than Europe and has more PS3 owners!! Plus, apart from Bowling and Pool, there are no other games to play!
You can talk to anybody you see with either the headset or by typing a message just like you do when you want to send a message to a friend through the XMB. There are pre-loaded quotes like, “Hello”, “Goodbye”, “Oh look America have sold Europe out…again”, which saves you typing out a message with the online keyboard through your controller.
There’s also videos and advertisements in the main square which connects all the three existing places together, and there’s a silver gate with the Home logo on, which I think will be unlocked in the future for additional content. You can also get your avatars to act out different emotions or dance moves! There has been a selection of people dancing to the tune that plays on the PSP advert!
My first impression of Home is that it could be something amazing and quite addictive. But I just hope that Sony sort out the server errors as they’ve had long enough to think about these scenarios and little things like this shouldn’t be happening in a BETA. I do think that advertisement boards in the Home Square are a nice touch as to keep players informed of things available of the PlayStation Network.
Unfortunately, we won’t be able to start the ‘Zath Community’ yet! But once the full version is available, it’ll be full speed ahead. So keep continuing to leave your Online_ID and we can all add each other in preparation, and maybe meet up on Call of Duty if you have it!
I know I’ve taken a few cheap shots at Home, but I can see what Sony is trying to do and just hope they don’t leave us another year before the full version is available.
3 out of 5
Danny ‘Ender’ Martin has been part of the Zath team from pretty much the very beginning since he met Zath himself at Leeds Met University whilst studying Business IT. He’s an avid gamer and a big film buff. Danny graduated from the University of Bradford with a degree in Computer Animation and SFX and now currently works at one of the biggest UK games developers, which will hopefully see some of his ideas hit the gaming world.