Because of “Little Big Planet” awesomeness and my insatiable desire to improve my gamer card I started exploring the PS3 menu and – for the first time – actually launched PlayStation Home. Remember how PlayStation Home was supposed to be the big thing that was going to revolutionize the way everyone felt about Sony? And remember how launch kept getting delayed over and over again until we were all so sick of hearing about it we just kind of decided it didn’t exist? Maybe that was just me.
Regardless, I’d honestly forgotten about it until I was digging around on the menus trying to figure out if I was logged in or not and came across the icon. Fifteen thousand million hundred downloads later, my system was updated and I had created an avatar.
I hadn’t kept up with the way PlayStation Home was supposed to work, so I started exploration with no expectations. You start out in your house that you can rearrange and design however you want, but anything unique will have to be purchased with real money from the mall. Once you get bored here, you can go out, explore the world and chat with other people.
Every building you want to enter requires a download. Luckily none of them seemed to take very long and you can load them in the background while you bum around. While waiting for the theater to download, I came across a group of people dancing and stood around watching them, jealous that I hadn’t yet discovered the beauty of the R1 button and all of the pre-set dances and expressions you can tell your avatar to do.
Within less than a minute, a dude was hitting on me. Out of the massive and ever-growing list of pick up lines, this guy decided that “UR HOT” was the best one to use. Clever, these boys. Part of me wanted to run away and another part didn’t want to be viewed as a rude bitch, so I stuck around and we went through the standard ASL/music preference talks until I decided “HEY! This is a virtual universe and if I don’t want to talk any more, I CAN run away.” So, I did.
I went to the mall and wandered around until I stumbled across an area where you could hear “The Pulse” – Sony’s podcast. I’d never listened to it before and I thought it was great. They featured two women and I wasn’t clawing out my ear drums at the sound of their voices. It was really well done and I was kind of confused about being impressed by something from Sony again. About that time, I ran into another dude, ChadRock10. We were both native Texans and hit it off pretty well so we decided to stick together.
We were having a good time chatting it up when this other dude ran into the frame between us. I was in the middle of typing a response (which – unless you have a keyboard takes about 4 years per sentence) and he came up to say hello. Neither of us responded, so he shoved against ChadRock10, screamed out “BALDY!!!” and ran off. It was hilarious but also sad. I mean, really? There’s someone out there who was so offended that another avatar didn’t address him, he had to call him a name and run away before it turned into a fight. Wow.
Because it was taking so long to chat with ChadRock10 and I hadn’t launched PlayStation Home until well after midnight, I didn’t explore anything beyond the mall or the movie theater where you can watch game trailers and The Pulse vodcast (which I thought was great.) But you can also play casual games with other avatars and do a bunch of other crap.
Overall, I gotta say I was pretty impressed at the potential here. Will it be the thing to revolutionize the PS3? Not without a lot of work. It kind of reminded me of the beginning of chat rooms when everyone was on dial-up and took forever to respond to messages or log in to another chat room. But those were still good times. Keep your expectations low, be prepared for a bunch of things you’ll have to download initially to make it work and go check out PlayStation Home if you haven’t already. It’s worth a look.
P.S. PlayStation – please make the videos on your site share-able so I don’t have to dig through 8 pages of crappy YouTube clips to find the one I want at about 20% of the quality of the ones you have on your site.