Home Interview: Pioneering The Future
PSXE: People often say there's so much new stuff, they feel a little lost. What strides have you taken – and are you taking – to make Home more fluid and user-friendly?
Jack: "The big innovation that we have in the client is the Home Navigator, which replaced the world map. The Navigator allows us to feature new content so if you're not sure where to go, go to the Featured Content tab. Then there's another tab there that says New and Recommended; I'd start there. It's where all the latest and greatest stuff is. Then, they can easily pop over to the games column and for an even more immersive experience, they can go to the Central Plaza. We let you know what's hot and new there, too."
PSXE: Recently, a Microsoft executive said Home is little more than a “nice chat room.” What do you have to say to that?
(Jack thought about the best way to answer this for a moment...we think he came up with the right reply)
Jack: "You know you’re doing well when your competition starts paying attention. I’ll leave it at that."
PSXE: In reality, how much further can Home really go? Where are the boundary lines?
Jack: "Okay, I can answer that in two parts:
First, practically- the progress we've made in the past couple of years really is just the beginning. We have so many games in development right now; the games you saw us announce this week are just a small handful of what's in development. Users can expect to see a ton of games for Home. You can expect to see continuous improvements to the client itself, which allows us to build games that weren't possible in the past. Just wait...there's so much stuff in development, whether it be from a technical or game standpoint. Frankly, it was really hard to select which games we would announce because there are so many; developers have found so much success from a business view.
Now, as for my vision for the future- I always like to say at developer conferences, 'if you want to know what games are going to look like in the future, look no further than Home.' Everywhere I go in Home, there's this continuous universe of games out there. This idea that you're in a universe of games - that are free - is big; you can see the industry moving towards these business models. We want to create an experience that gamers expect and to me, it's really exciting. Home itself is really pointing towards the future.
Let me put it this way: when I first saw Tron, sitting there as a youngster, I knew that that was the future. Running around in a universe of games. It has been a vision of the future for a while. And only with the power of the PS3 have we been allowed to realize it; that's why I get up in the morning. It's because I know we're pioneering the future of the industry."
It's always obvious that Jack is one of those guys who loves his job, and who will do everything in his power to develop that vision of his...and we all benefit from that work. I would normally elaborate a bit, but I'm saving it for an add-on editorial I'm going to write right now.
By the way, just a reminder in case you missed it during my Week in Review: Insomniac has asked us to hold off posting the results of our Q&A (concerning Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One). We're waiting for a better publication time and also, we should be able to take some Resistance 3 questions from you guys at that time. :)
12/10/2010 Ben Dutka