PS3 Previews: PlayStation Home Preview

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PlayStation Home Preview

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Scheduled release date:

Q4 2008

Publisher:

Sony Computer Entertainment

Developer:

Sony Computer Entertainment

Number Of Players:

Unlimited

Genre:

Miscellaneous

Release Date:

December 11, 2008

While it’s true that PlayStation Home has come around a bit later than many PS3 owners would’ve hoped, we have finally gotten a look at the innovative and immersive online community via closed beta test. As we have emphasized before at PSXE, Home will release in open beta form and that’s exactly how one should view it: as a beta. It still has a long ways to go but you can bet this application will make great strides over the next few years, continually undergoing updates and enhancements and ultimately becoming the revolutionary service it was purported to be.

The beta feels a little bare, but it clearly shows what Home users can expect when the open beta launches in a few weeks time. Well, we assume it will release in a few weeks; Sony continues to hold to their statement that it will be available before 2008 is over, which means if this is to remain true, everyone should be going Home before the holidays have gone by. Anyway, for those of you who have been in the closed beta since the beginning, we’re not going to say anything you don’t already know, but if you’ve never stepped foot inside Home, pay attention. The first step, of course, will be to create your virtual self for use inside this dazzling interactive world, and this is quite the scientific process. You can alter every tiny aspect of your character, from the length and size of your eyebrows to the depth and length of your skull. We only had a few options for outfits and clothing, but we attribute this to the beta phase, and to the fact that you can buy new threads in the Mall (or at least, you’ll be able to in the open beta). Once you’re happy with what others will see, you will move on to your default Home space.

In the closed beta, the default space is the Harbour Apartment, which may or may not change for the open testing. This apartment only holds a few basic pieces of furniture, but the amazing view seen outside the floor-to-ceiling windows is breathtaking. You can step outside onto the deck, where you will notice the stunning high-definition visuals; you appear to be somewhere in the Riviera, and there’s a millionaire’s yacht down by the docks, with an impressive building (perhaps a hotel) to the left. After drinking in your environment – and briefly wondering how you acquired the money for such a swanky pad – you can fiddle around with some of that aforementioned furniture. You can move everything around to wherever you want it, and when you’re finally able to purchase new pieces for your place, you’ll of course be able to place them in the desired position. Decorations will range from wallpaper to lighting fixtures to a myriad of accessories, and if you saw the recent in-world tour of Home in Qore Episode 6, you’ll see the diversity and variety in potential decoration combinations.

You learn a bit about how to communicate, too. There are more than a few set commands that you can select from by pressing the Triangle button, and you will also be able to use your headset as well. After practicing your dance moves and basic emotional reactions, you can move on to the central hub of Home, which is known as the Central Plaza where you can access several new areas. It’s a relatively large space, complete with a video theater (it was playing a special video that featured an interview with real SEALs for SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation), bowling alley (bowl, play pool, or even test out old-school arcade games), and the Mall. The latter is where you’ll go to purchase new clothes, items for your apartment, and even new Home spaces. You will be able to own multiple spots, although we’re not sure if there will be a limit… In the closed beta, none of the stores are open, but you can wander about and explore a little; there’s a small place to play chess upstairs, although it’s obvious that the stores will remain the primary focus. Oh, and expect this Mall to expand as Home moves forward; the possibilities are almost limitless.

Everything is very pretty in brilliant high-definition, and just checking out our surroundings was pleasurable. It’s easy to talk to anyone wandering around, and you can invite anyone on your Friend’s list to congregate in your current location; it could be the Mall or it could be your own personal space. There really aren’t any technical issues to speak of, although some people may not like the loading times between each Home area (the bigger the area, the longer the load time), and you have to wait a little while for everyone in that space to fully appear. At first, they all look like see-through, electronically drawn outlines (kinda reminded us of Tron, only without the flashy color), but they will soon become completely finished character avatars. Obviously, the application needs some time to load every user on the screen, especially because each one is entirely unique, and there are thousands of appearance possibilities. Everything else seems to work just fine. The videos and trailers you can watch are perfect, those arcade games are fun, and the backdrops are beautifully designed. There’s some light hitching and jerking going on when the area is still loading characters, but it’s not a big issue.

All in all, our experience with PlayStation Home has been mostly positive, if a little underwhelming. But then again, that’s exactly what we expected: we’re fully aware that we’re examining a launching pad for what should be a fantastic online application, and in that respect, we love what we see. Just seeing the options for Clubs, launching multiplayer games from within Home, and issuing any number of Invites to anywhere you wish is enough to excite us, and we look forward to the future. Remember, that’s what Home is all about…the future. And our judgment thus far is that the future is bright.

11/24/2008 Ben Dutka

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Comments (51 posts)

DeadReaper
Monday, November 24, 2008 @ 8:40:03 PM
Reply

I got to admit, over the last few weeks I've started to care less and less about home. Reason being is Sony can't seem to make up there mind about when there going to release it. All we've been hearing is "its coming, its coming". After reading this preview about however, I'm getting excited about it again. I know it doesnt mean its coming any time soon, but it just reasures me there is something there.

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Reccaman18
Monday, November 24, 2008 @ 10:35:11 PM

Im in the beta, and let me assure you, it is totally worth the wait. Everything you have read here is true, but I will say this: You won't really appreciate it until you witness the awesomeness that is PlayStation Home for yourself.

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infekt
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 12:04:14 AM

Yeah, I wasn't interested much either until I got into the beta. Now, I spend at least an hour or two in it each day. I'm surprised at myself actually.

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The_Vandelizer
Monday, November 24, 2008 @ 10:34:39 PM
Reply

i like it a lot i just wish u could do more... especially in my home

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Reccaman18
Monday, November 24, 2008 @ 10:36:04 PM

Im sure that once the open beta is released, then most of the promised features will be included. Have you tried bowling yet? That sh** is hard! lol

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LightShow
Monday, November 24, 2008 @ 10:45:14 PM

the trick is in the curve =D

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somethingrandom
Monday, November 24, 2008 @ 10:35:46 PM
Reply

Should be awesome when you describe the complexity like that. I was hoping Sony would be farther along. How long of load times are we talking here? Under thirty seconds? Does it depend on internet speed?

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LightShow
Monday, November 24, 2008 @ 10:44:52 PM

you need an initial (lengthy) download onto your HDD for each area, and about 10-30 seconds after that to retrieve the data from your hard drive.

think 10 seconds for your apt and 30-40 for the main square or bowling alley, as soon as they're on your HDD, of course.

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somethingrandom
Monday, November 24, 2008 @ 11:12:35 PM

It will probably take me a few hours to download each area then, unless I download at night when internet traffic is low. That's gonna suck...

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MetalHead09
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 9:54:13 AM

all of my stuff downlodaed rather quickly.

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warezIbanez
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 8:43:24 PM

Loading times are really good since 1.0 ... there is also background download of the other rooms.

I can't wait until the Uncharted and Farcry 2 rooms come back in...

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LightShow
Monday, November 24, 2008 @ 10:42:25 PM
Reply

It's nice to wander into the bowling alley for a game of pool. Most everyone you play is a good sport, accepting defeat with a rematch and not gloating (too badly) when they win, and as far as I can tell it carries over to most everything.

My HUGE fear is that this pleasant atmosphere will vanish as soon as the beta goes open.

*crosses fingers*

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Qubex
Monday, November 24, 2008 @ 10:47:20 PM

Yes, it probably will to some extent... we'll just have to wait and see. Moderation is expected to be strong I would expect.

Q!

"i Am HoMe"

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LightShow
Monday, November 24, 2008 @ 10:49:09 PM

i hope so.

shoot, I'D VOLUNTEER to sit around and keep it civil.

well, maybe not volunteer...=D

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BigT_1980
Monday, November 24, 2008 @ 11:54:31 PM

You whats funny when I was shooting pool their was already an XBot on Home spouting Sony sucks and Microsoft is god propaganda. I tried to keep it civil by complimenting the good aspects of the 360 along with the good aspect of the PS3 but he has only interested in creating animosity by trash talking the PS3. Apparently he was a big enough PS3 fan to either buy Qore or by a PLayStation Underground GAP Member.

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Qubex
Monday, November 24, 2008 @ 10:48:37 PM
Reply

As Ben stated above, you don't have to be bright to realise that Sony have worked up a fantastic BASE. Now wait, and you will see Home flourish over the coming years with constant improvements and refinements.

Q!

"i aM hOMe"

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The CEO
Monday, November 24, 2008 @ 10:52:22 PM
Reply

It is pretty amazing even as bare as it is now,plus I have made more friends on there in the 4 days I have had it than I have made in total time I have owned ps3 which was at launch lol.They really should have given more clothing options though because there are too many twins lol.Oh yeah be sure to have a headset or rock band mic because this makes it that much funner.Trust me on that,when I started using 20 dollar voicestar hedset it brought it to life even if was to cuss somebody for harassing me while bowling.

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WelcomeOblivion
Monday, November 24, 2008 @ 11:16:34 PM
Reply

I didnt get into the beta so im sad I just hope Sony does stay true to its word and releases it before new year.

also, hey Qubex i see your road finally has lead you hOMe

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Qubex
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 1:18:24 AM

Yes it has my friend, yes it has! I have great hope for Home, I think it will become a tremendous virtual hub that will spawn a whole economy of its own. If Sony are smart, they will gradually permit the community to do more and more.

If I were Sony I would set up an Ideas Pod. Basically something you can walk up to, interact with and type an idea or comment you have whilst in the virtual world itself. Its quick, easy and convenient; and people can drop comments often when they have a bright idea hit them on the temple...

So, in short, an "iPod" but for HOME!

Q!

"i aM hOMe"

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coverton341
Monday, November 24, 2008 @ 11:18:12 PM
Reply

Am I the only one who has run outta steam for Home? I mean I was stoked when I first heard of this. I was excited when they said it was releasing the first time. I held onto hope when they put the theme application up and said that they would take into consideration the amount of time you spend online and the amount of PSN games you download. I thought man I am sure to get in being that I am always online and I buy tons of games from PSN and I downloaded the theme the day it came out. Still I am homeless and I don't care anymore. It has been dangled far too long in front of my nose and I just don't care anymore.

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Scarecrow
Monday, November 24, 2008 @ 11:19:14 PM
Reply

Can't wait!!!

The Playstation community @ boardsus.playstation.com has gotten a HUGE facelift reflecting your online account and making it more PSN friendly.

In fact now you sign in using your PSN ID email and password.

Home sweet Home will be here soon!

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PSN _HAITIAN_JB
Monday, November 24, 2008 @ 11:56:43 PM
Reply

yeah beta here love home

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 1:24:14 AM
Reply

Sounds neat, but how much space is it gonna take up on my HDD?

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ThePoetRazel
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 1:41:05 AM
Reply

There was more clothing and other items before the latest update. It should be coming back soon, perhaps before the open.
Also, The EU, US and Japanese Home's are different. You used to be able to travel to each by having a friend already there and selecting to "go to" their location. This "regional travel is locked currently but you can use other PSN accounts to access Home, so you can get to the other Homes that way. No thanks needed for that tip ;)

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Dan
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 2:05:59 AM
Reply

I have a question though, is Home different for every region?

I mean, will someone from the US be able to see someone from Europe for example? Or each region has its own independent servers?

Last edited by Dan on 11/25/2008 2:06:13 AM

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ThePoetRazel
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 2:20:57 AM

Each region is different and separate. However, you can meet up at Personal Spaces and Clubhouses.

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TheRaPtuRe
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 6:31:31 AM
Reply

im in the beta and my thoughts are that its mainly dominated by pervy guys trying to get with the girls.
It's really quite sad, i see it all the time.

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ThePoetRazel
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 7:04:54 AM

It happens after each update. Those types soon get bored and leave. Just ignore them, or call for a Ninja ;)

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Scarecrow
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 8:30:20 AM

That's sad lol...

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Scarecrow
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 8:31:15 AM
Reply

Good thing there will be moderators roaming 'round PSHOME.

Moderator: *walks up to bully* you're banned for being an idiot.

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CH1N00K
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 8:32:23 AM
Reply

I'm still up in the air about this one. I've commented before on other articles about HOME that It will be big I'm sure with the Social networking (IE. Facebook) people, but I don't think it's my thing. I've logged in to the beta a few times, played some echochrome, a few games of pool, some chess...(haven't bowled yet, there's always a line-up) I've met some people, but in all honesty, I don't find it that compelling, yet. Like I've said before, I'd rather meet and talk to people while in the middle of an online game (like SOCOM or Warhawk)

That being said, I'm still going into it, just to see if there is something that I'm missing because everyone else seems to be so excited about this.

One thing I am curious about when the full game launches are the items in the Mall. I'm assuming that we're going to be able to buy things (Clothes, furniture,etc) in the shops in the mall, but are we as the users of Home (Home-ees?) going to be able to create our own products and possibly sell them? Wouldn't it be neat to be able to put your own spin on your clothing and furniture, and then see other people wearing your product? I know that will bring up some Copyright issues like LBP ran into, but is this a possibility?

Anyways, I'm still not sold on the whole HOME thing. Don't think it's my type of "gaming" but I'll keep testing it, just to see what I can find.

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Scarecrow
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 9:40:37 AM

It's fine
I'm actually the opposite of you

I hate getting to know people while playing a game(Warhawk, LBP, etc.)

Better to meet them in a place(forum) or community(HOME).

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IonHawk
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 1:19:42 PM

I totally agree with you Ch1nook - I was really bored with Home very soon - hope they introduce some more compelling features (or at least bring back the stuff that seems to have disappeared after the latest update), if not I'll just prefer playing one of the many games that came out in the past couple of months and talk to people online while we cooperatively bust a cap in some Chimeran a$$ :D

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MetalHead09
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 9:55:09 AM
Reply

i cant wait to vreate my clans space ans stuff. its gonna be awsome!!!!

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crapreviews
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 10:01:27 AM
Reply

Little side note. I got in the beta on 11/20 using my standard 40gig hdd. On 11/24 i received my 320gig 7200rpm hdd that i ordered. IMO it seems that HOME areas and the people in HOME load faster than with the stock 5400rpm.

i've spoken to a few others that also have a 7200rpm hdd and they also say HOME seems to run a little better with loading times.

Last edited by crapreviews on 11/25/2008 10:01:56 AM

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snglbck26
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 12:35:20 PM
Reply

I got the beta invite on Friday but haven't downloaded it yet. Can anyone tell me approximately how long it took to install? I know it varies depending on your internet connection but I just want to get an idea. For example, most PS store demos take a minimum of an hour to download to my PS3.

Thanks.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 1:27:36 PM
Reply

It's only 77mb, so it hardly took any time, but afterwards your hdd reserves 3gb of space for additional things. Does anyone know how to get to those game associated areas? I can't figure out how to find them =\ Like the Far Cry2 place and the Warhawk place...

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crapreviews
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 2:44:42 PM

from what the old beta ppl said those areas have been taking out for right now. probally getting ready for the big release soon

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dillonthebunny
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 4:16:00 PM
Reply

where are the forums? I have stuff to say!!!


sorry to act like a spoilt child there, bit I have just found out something mad!!!

Im in the US Home Beta! its simple as falling over. I have an American PSN account, so I went in to HOME and whoa... im in YOUR AMERICAN HOME!

Its sooo different, its nice. I might stay here for a bit.

Last edited by dillonthebunny on 11/25/2008 4:16:23 PM

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coverton341
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 7:12:29 PM

spoiled brat.....

Nah j/k I am missing the forums as well even though I realized there was a forum right before it went down. lol. I am sure that they are working hard on bringing it back up.

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dillonthebunny
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 4:48:15 PM
Reply

ive just been on the Japanese HOME the same way I went in to the American one.. wow, its different again!

lol...

the EU HOME isnt as nice as USA and Japan :(


I hope they change it, but then you guys might think the same if you came over to EU HOME.

grass is always greener as they say.

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Fabi
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 @ 8:36:57 PM
Reply

I got in the beta, without even trying. Pretty cool.

I like the feel of it.

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FoReVeR_0515
Wednesday, November 26, 2008 @ 12:47:20 AM
Reply

I got a Home beta key for, I guess, being a Playstation Underground member. But I can't try it out because I'm deployed to Iraq right now with crappy, slow internet. Plus they don't allow to put game consoles on it anyway.

So, I gave the code to my good friend back home so he could download and try it out. He'll just have to tell me his impressions.

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Robertson99
Wednesday, November 26, 2008 @ 7:11:19 AM
Reply

I can't wait for Home. I don't really mind that sony keep putting it off as long as it's not a disappointment.
I've been reading what you guys have been saying about download times, and I was wondering if there's anyway of speeding mine up? My internet connection says 100% and it's still really slow so I was thinking that it was probably the connection the PSN??

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dillonthebunny
Wednesday, November 26, 2008 @ 9:31:40 AM
Reply

its not that slow, for me its pretty quick, but then my internet is pretty good and quite fast anyways.

i think its different for most.

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Zorigo
Wednesday, November 26, 2008 @ 12:31:07 PM
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this should be great, but the haboo guys could've given ideas

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DeadReaper
Wednesday, November 26, 2008 @ 1:44:40 PM
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Seeing as how I just got a home beta key, now I'm really excited.

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Jed
Wednesday, November 26, 2008 @ 10:59:33 PM
Reply

way to go Ben, this got picked up by the playstation blog.

So we should be home for the holidays?

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startazz
Thursday, November 27, 2008 @ 1:04:05 PM
Reply

At last i took the right road to get HOME and when i got there i wasn't disappointed at all,considering they have got to do loads more to it yet and love playing pool and ten pin bowling,i haven't done much in there as only just started to go in but from what i have seen and done i quit like it,way to go sony lol.

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NetheRealm
Thursday, November 27, 2008 @ 5:18:09 PM
Reply

The Sims and all the available activities seem childish and boring to me. A lot of the areas modeled after 2006-2007 games already seem out of date. Now if they connected Home to Everquest & FFXI so you could meet people and then all go MMORPG with headsets together that would be cool.

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SeanI
Thursday, December 18, 2008 @ 5:04:31 AM
Reply

The new PS3 Home has launched in open beta. The game is essentially a cross between “The Second Life” and Nintendo Mii. PlayStation 3 users will receive their own customizable avatars and virtual homes. They can also chat via text messages and voice with and host friends online, find gaming buddies, buy and display virtual décor and goodies. Although the service is free, real money transactions take place with the exchange of clothing, furniture, and other toys for their avatars. The game has been said to release on December 11 – right in time for Christmas. Nintendo Wii launched with support for player avatars and the Xbox 360 added avatar and related features with its November 2008 New Xbox Experience update. Nonetheless, it appears PlayStation Home is more sophisticated in this region. Some scoff at the new PS3 Home claiming that it’s just another way to make real money through a virtual life. Others, similar to those who see the value of no fax payday loans, are more open-minded and anticipating to try out the new PlayStation 3 game.

Click to read more on <strong><a title="What are Payday Loans?" rev="vote-for" href="http://personalmoneystore.com/moneyblog/what-are-payday-loans-2/">Payday Loans</a>.<strong>

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