Home Interview: Pioneering The Future
When PlayStation Home director Jack Buser chatted with PSXE this past summer, we outlined a host of reasons as to why gamers should visit Home. The service continues to grow and expand at a rapid rate and if you haven't kept up, you don't know what you're missing. After speaking to Jack again today, two things have become apparent: 1. Home will continue to cater to gamers, and 2. the sky - and maybe a little beyond - is the limit.
Firstly, Jack wants to provide you with a microcosm of Home; a description of a growing social hub that, while currently accurate (and impressive), will continue to bend and flex with future upgrades:
Jack: "It's not just Home's two-year anniversary, it's the sheer number of games: we've announced Novus Prime, the Midway 2 was launched yesterday, and there are two more new games. One of them is Conspiracy from Jet Set Games. It's an action/puzzle game with infiltration and espionage; gamers will be going on raids and trying to steal info from companies. This is just one example; it's such an honor to have so many talented studios coming to the Home platform.
Sodium Two is coming too and if you look at the screenshots, I'm telling you, people don't believe it's a game in Home. We're constantly upgrading development tools for game makers, and we're constantly upgrading the client. We're really advancing. Two years ago, we couldn't have done this; the growth is huge and we'll have incredibly powerful game tools, faster loading, and things like inventory management for our power users to have lots and lots of inventory."
Jack went on to confirm two huge stats: 17 million users - and yes, he's pretty darn sure that's an accurate number - and an average session duration of 70 minutes. "You just lose yourself in this world of games and stuff; there's so much to do," he said. Most importantly, he says the Home team has recognized that gamers want games; that they need the killer apps, and the connected experience is what separates Home from the rest of the industry.
Now, onto a few questions, mostly taken from recent PSXE reader comments:
PSXE: One common question we've seen is: "When will I be able to play the music and video content on my own HD in my own HomeSpace?"
Jack: "Check out the Ameratsu Yacht; the Hollywood Hills apartment. It just launched a couple days ago and it has a whole new technology: entertainment on demand (EOD). Developed by the LOOT team (they brought us the cool Ghostbusters stuff), they've created a system that allows video content to be played back in Home. It's capable of full-length video content. And it's totally on demand so you just go in, select what you want to play, and go. We've got all kinds of video content so you should definitely check it out."
12/10/2010 Ben Dutka