PlayStation Home To Set "Quality Bar"
Just about everyone who has been following the progress of PlayStation Home is excited. It's clearly one of the most promising online services ever, and according to Home's creative director, this virtual world is the "best-looking" and "most user-friendly" online experience he's seen so far.
According to GamesIndustry.biz, Ron Festejo talked about other virtual worlds, like Second Life, in comparison to Home. He said Second Life was "garish" and other online experiences were simply too "hardcore" for most people. But PlayStation Home apparently strikes the correct balance for the majority of gamers out there. He also said he has no idea why people should even be comparing Home and Second Life, just because both services are so very different.
"John [Venables, Home's lead artist] said in a presentation that for a lot of people, their first experience of online play is to 'log on…get shot in the face, log on…get shot in the face' and actually that's true - people tend to not go into that because of those experiences," said Festejo. "Personally, looking at other models, a lot of them are too hardcore, a lot of them are garish in the way they look. I think what we've done with Home is have the best-looking multiplayer world - and actually the most user-friendly that I've seen as well."
Venables continued that it's important for Sony to set a very high "quality bar" with Home. He further mentioned the difficulty Second Life developers (Linden Lab) faced due to challenging PC compatibility; they were forced to make it work on even low-end PCs. Home on the PS3 faces no such obstacle, of course, as all PS3s are the same.
"Essentially, with the Second Life example - and partly the disparity of the graphics, because you have to cater for the lowest-end PC whereas on the PlayStation 3 it's a level playing-field - with something so organic as Home, with features being added, it's difficult to set that benchmark of how many polygons to throw around, and how many to save for future things that we may or may not want to do," said Venables. "I think the PS3 platform has given us an advantage in terms of keeping a polished look, and it not to look like Second Life. I don't want to dis Second Life, obviously they've been successful and they have to cater for people with old Pentium IIs and whatever, so I can understand why it looks the way it does."
The more we hear about PlayStation Home, the more we want it. It also seems that Sony isn't anywhere near as tight-lipped about this project as they were before, so could we be looking at a launch very soon? Let's hope so.
2/22/2008 Ben Dutka