PS3 Soon Going Home, And It's A Bona Fide System Seller
Yes, it has been delayed several times, and yes, more than a few current and prospective PlayStation 3 owners have questioned whether or not PlayStation Home will deliver the goods. Well, of course it will. Wanna know why?
Look, I'm not a huge online gamer and I spend minimal time on the PlayStation Store or Xbox Live Marketplace. I don't really care about add-on content, trailers, that fancy new Video Service, and I only rarely get excited about playable demos. Why is this important? Because every time something significant that's restricted to the Internet arrives, it almost never interests me...but Home does. I won't be spending a great deal of time with Home, either - don't get me wrong - but I am most certainly intrigued by the application. The question is, how will people respond? Some comments on the subject question if users are annoyed with the delays and now have lost interest. But frankly, that's not the issue: as the new generation rolls forward, it has become very clear to both developers and journalists alike that online functionality is critical. It's critical to the success of many games these days, and in turn, it can be said that it's critical to the industry as a whole. PlayStation Home is a central communication hub for all PS3 owners out there, and it should be fully robust. It's also something that can continue to grow and expand.
Given all this, it's difficult to see Home as a failure. Everyone seems to absolutely adore virtual communication; forums, IM, headsets when playing multiplayer online, etc, etc, etc. Besides, as the Network continues to be a FREE service, and Home should be easily accessible to all, there's little to stop users from giving it a try. And like I said, the current trend is obvious: the online capabilities of a machine like the PS3 will play a crucial role in its success, and Sony sees Home as an initial driving force. The Store and Network have come into their own, and now, Home is poised to take the next step. Something intriguing to the avid gamer that asks for virtually no added effort? ...what's the problem?
As for the launch, there's a lot of speculation that Home will be here next month, and if there's an official word on the matter, we'll be sure to let you know. But we don't believe the excitement has gone anywhere; it's there, it's just waiting.
9/22/2008 Ben Dutka