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Sony: "No Plans" For Home To Exit The Beta Phase

PlayStation Home debuted in December 2008 and since that time, it has grown and expanded at a rapid rate.

And because Sony fully intends to keep expanding and growing, it's no real surprise that they intend to stay within a beta phase. If you hadn't noticed, the virtual online social service has been a "beta" since the time of its launch about a year and a half ago, although we had heard rumors it would soon exit that phase. Well, "soon" meaning the end of this year. However, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has told VideoGamer that "the service is still evolving and as such we have no current plans to take Home out of Beta." Anything that needs to be continually tweaked and built upon probably should stay in that mode, even if some users have been asking for the next step, not apparently realizing that the Home experience probably wouldn't change much. Just because it's a beta and just because they're working on it all the time doesn't mean you have to suffer; in fact, if it comes out of beta, doesn't that mean the upgrades and expansion will slow down and you'll have to be happy with what's already there...?

Such ambitious programs just seem built for the constant flux offered by the beta phase and let's not forget, fans can always issue feedback and suggestions, too.

5/27/2010 10:26:41 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (35 posts)

IronFace2
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 10:39:59 AM
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Its fine the way it is...

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frostface
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 10:42:13 AM
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I don't want to be a Home wrecker but it never works for me anytime I log in. Not that I log in often, usually there'll be an update for something and I wait it out, go to play a game of chess with someone and get booted in the middle of the game. I also don't get why anyone would want to buy a virtual pair of Diesel Jeans.
I guess I'm unique in that I just don't really get the attraction of Home.

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coverton341
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 10:54:33 AM

The tech behind Home is great, as is the concept but where it fails to impress, me at least, is the fact that it is a very anit-social social networking program.

Point in case: there is no headset support. You are limited to text and at that point why would you walk around and try to strike up a conversation with someone you don't know when you can't just say "hi" with your voice. Past that most of the people I have encountered group themselves with their couple of personal friends and chat back and forth or you get the guys grouping around a female avatar stating how hot it is.

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Highlander
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 11:17:15 AM

Headset support - aka open mics - were dropped thanks to an endless supply of morons who abused other Home users verbally. Sony was stuck in a position where the future of Home was literally in the balance. The level of verbal abuse that was common was astounding, and you could report people, but there were so many abusers it was like trying to cut the heads of a hydra. Normal users of Home (the vast majority) started to complain loudly to Sony and threatened to leave. Sony had little choice but to kill the public voice chat or open mics, just to curtail the grief that a sizable minority were able to cause.

I don't think you'll see it return, it's just not worth it. There are too many idiots out there who think that they can anonymously abuse others without consequence. In the early days of Home I witnessed (and heard) some of the most appalling anti homosexual, racist, sexist, sexually abusive and down right disgusting language I've experienced in my life. And let me tell you, I lived in Scotland for 24 years, and Scots can swear like no one else, even so, Home was shocking.

Once the open mics were silenced, that problem all but disappeared. I honestly think it would be a *HUGE* mistake to allow it again.

Last edited by Highlander on 5/27/2010 11:20:37 AM

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Soultaker
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 11:25:06 AM

You can still have a 1 on 1 convo with someone though if you phone them but other than that no voice.

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mike rlz
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 11:34:21 AM

i wish i lived in scotland!!! whatdya know, we got a little taste of XBL users... at least we dont supply the headsets!

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coverton341
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 12:00:53 PM

I know what you mean Highlander and I can attest to hearing it all as well as I was in the early stages of the beta. In those days with a select few people it was not bad but then when the flood gates opened it was indeed horrible.

The fact remains though that without that and a good filtering system, which by my own admission would be next to impossible, the true core of Home is lacking and for me personally not something that I would use for a social networking tool.

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JackC8
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 1:22:39 PM

It's really too bad they took away microphone support. I mean, it's a virtual world and the entire point is that you're supposed to interact with people. But you can't talk to them? I really think Sony should have gotten a bunch of moderators to listen in to everything and ban people who were abusing it, no matter how many of them there were. Or let users put people on an ignore list by aiming at them and hitting R1 or something. Instead we've got social interaction that consists of typing one letter at a time or choosing stuff like "hi". Pretty pointless in my humble opinion.

Last edited by JackC8 on 5/27/2010 1:25:42 PM

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Highlander
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 2:12:24 PM

A bunch of moderators listening to everything? You mean like spies or secret police or something? Good lord there's 12 million users in Home, how many mods do you want? No, that would never work. Imagine the outcry if it was even suggested as a possibility.

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coverton341
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 4:39:29 PM

Yeah there is no effective way to moderate open mics in any conventional sense. And, that is why in my eyes the execution of a terrific concept falls short of what it could be.

It is a horribly double edged sword with no real winner because people by and large cannot handle themselves. On the one hand you have people with my viewpoint, and there are quite a few of us, that feel like the whole purpose of Home is to have an interactive community to meet new gamers, make friends, and set up gaming times and the like. On the other hand you have people who spew forth all the filth and vileness that humanity has to offer because they are behaviourally abnormal or some such.

Sony can't let those walking wastes of air spread their disease of racist, sexist, misogyny around to the rest of the community so the people who would use it for a legitimate socialisation tool are screwed.

In the end you are left with a terrific idea in concept that crashes and burns in application because of generalised human nature.

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JackC8
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 4:42:33 PM

Yeah, better they just take away everyone's ability to speak, rather than make any attempt at all to only apply the punishment to the offenders.

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Highlander
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 5:09:16 PM

@Jack

Yes, fine, but precisely how do you accomplish that? There is no practical solution that can solve the problem quickly enough to prevent normal users of Home being completely turned off by the abusive jerks.

It's as Coverton says, a great concept who's execution has been spoiled by the impact of the down-side to human nature.

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keo7
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 5:23:11 PM

I think sony plan is to integrate HOME into PS4 when release. So it like build into OS like XMB. With faster loading time and smoother experience. I know people still like XMB and it is easy ,but if sony doesn't integrate HOME into PS4 then players will segregated.

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shaydey77
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 6:17:34 PM

They could always have a mute button similar to COD. you can easily scroll down through the names and mute whoev er is bothering you. They can be left cursing like...a scot..(no offense!)..and the people genuinely interested in home can be left in peace to chat amongst themselves. :)

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spiderboi
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 11:33:33 PM

They should put an "honor" system in Home. I.e. helpful stuffs put more pluses on your profile. High enough honor could enable voice. Also, others can "down-vote" your honor so that if you start cussing you'll have your speaking rights revoked.

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Beamboom
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 4:52:40 AM

PSN Home is like a web/flash game: Utterly uninteresting unless you don't know any other alternative.
The whole home project is so poorly designed that I wish they used the development time on enhancing other aspects of PSN instead. Like for example something as simple as the possibility to clean up your download list/history. Reinstalling the expansions and games scattered between the heaps of trash is the ultimate sanity test.

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Highlander
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 6:33:37 PM

@BeanBoom

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, I personally do not share yours. I find Home is entertaining, and enjoy tinkering with my avatars.

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Zorigo
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 10:46:24 AM
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Makes perfect sense. They can keep expanding, and people can help improve by using it.

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nogoat23
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 10:48:52 AM
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Didn't Google do the same thing with Gmail? Wasn't that in beta for a long long time? I don't see an issue with Home being in beta.

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coverton341
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 10:50:07 AM
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This is quite strange. On the one hand you have Sony saying that they do not intend on taking Home out of Beta but on the other you have a Home developer from the UK VeeMee I believe saying that it definitely is coming out of beta. I wonder if the different regions have different plans on how they are going to handle Home.

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Highlander
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 10:54:07 AM

Or perhaps the Home platform will always remain in 'beta', bust specific parts or 'spaces' within home will no longer be Beta. After all if some developer of Home content decides that they are not going to make any more changes to their Home product (whatever it may be) then that would mean that their product was no longer a 'beta' despite the overall status of Home.

I gotta say though, if I'm taking anyone's word for it on Home's status as a 'beta', I'll take Sony's.

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coverton341
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 10:56:37 AM

Those are my feelings on the issue as well. Sony knows more about what they are going to do with their product than a dev team for said product. I just thought it was interesting to see that what Sony is saying and what a dev is saying are completely opposing.

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Highlander
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 11:19:30 AM

It is interesting, I wonder where they got the information?

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therabbitkinge
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 10:51:13 AM
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Well I haven't been HOME in about a year and a half so technically im a runaway ^_^
I played the closed beta and watched as about 30 male avatars did the robot around one female avatar needless to say I called the police and showed them what was happening onscreen and my cries went ignored and that poor digital woman was forced to -sniffle- log out... this injustice led me to run from HOME lol.

All jokes aside though I've been looking for a reason to go back but it just doesn't seem to interesting... anyone wanna sway my opinion?

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Highlander
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 11:18:56 AM

You know, you can joke, but the verbal abuse that used to fly before the open mics were killed was awful. Having 30 morons doing the humpty dance in the face of a female avatar may seem like fun to you, but it destroys the enjoyment of Home for the victim. Is that fair or right, or funny?

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Highlander
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 10:51:53 AM
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When Home first launched they said (IIRC) that it would likely always be a 'beta' program because it was an application platform that would continually evolve and change with the user's and developer's needs and preferences.

If they remove the 'beta' designation someone will try to use that as a stick with which to beat Sony the next time the change something. I suspect it will always remain a beta.

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BikerSaint
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 12:16:08 PM
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Although I have no need for Home, I say just keep expanding on it, & keep it in beta forever.

Anyways, "beta" is a cool sounding word

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Alienange
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 12:27:07 PM
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It's because clowns read "beta" and think Sony is holding back the real product. As you say, if it came out of beta now, Sony would literally just be deleting four letters from the description.

For something as dynamic as Home, it just doesn't make sense to say changes are no longer needed.

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tlpn99
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 1:42:33 PM
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Anything new in Home lately ? The last time I went in was when the EA had the race track game I have not been on for ages for some reason other games just seem to be getting in the way.

I do plan on checking it out again in the future. :)

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Tom_Robertson
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 2:15:53 PM
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It's still in beta?

Whenever I used to highlight Home in the XMB I did notice the beta appear on the screen but after an update (can't remember which) it wasn't there.

I just assumed it had progressed and went on it and it had changed so much so I jumped to the conclusion that it had

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CharlesD
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 4:00:50 PM
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I thought I would really get into Home when I first heard about it, but when I started playing I realized they weren't able to deliver what was expected. They made it bound by money, no headsets, and it takes so long to download and prepare a new room it isn't even worth the wait.

So, I don't really care if it stays in beta, unless they make some major changes when it switches over.

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therabbitkinge
Thursday, May 27, 2010 @ 8:22:53 PM
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Whoa "thehighlander" it was just a satire man just small joke, I left HOME because of the jerks that would stalk people and insult them until they left home, I don't know if you suffered any home related trauma but if so im sorry to have offended you and I invite you to tell me about any changes that they've made since those barbaric times. ^_^

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Highlander
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 6:39:24 PM

I'm not offended, but I have heard far too many people make the same argument in earnest, that you made in satire. Too many people who just don't get that their actions - even in a virtual environment - have an impact on others.

As for trauma - not quite, but my wife and I like to play in Home, it's a mild distraction for when we are bored. For a long time when Home was young and moderation was in it's infancy, my wife could not appear in home without drawing morons like moths to a flame.

Even with the improvements that Sony has made it's still annoying, but we have learned to configure the communications options in Home so no one can bother her.

I hope that Sony will ultimately implement some kind of avatar filtering so that if I tell home I don't want to see someone, it simply does not render their avatar. It would be especially nice to tie it into my 'block' list of people I have blocked (and maintain such a list for Home itself).

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ShadowRunner
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 2:26:15 AM
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Its the Comments Section of PSXE that needs to come out of beta. And its not even evolving!!!

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___________
Friday, May 28, 2010 @ 2:50:47 AM
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home really needs more stuff to do there, and less downloads for christs sake.
every time i log on i have a new update i need to download, plus if you want to walk out the front door you have to download a 100MB+ file.
not all of us live in Japan with unlimited download usages you know?

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