There's little doubt that the Xbox 360's Gamerscore system can entice console polygamists to spend the night with the platform at the expense of its rivals. After all, when faced with the prospect of playing a game that looks the same and costs the same, why not choose the option that will up what Epic Games' Cliff Bleszinski calls "nerd cred"?
Soon, though, Sony loyalists will literally receive trophies for their own in-game accomplishments.
At a press event last night in San Francisco, Sony Worldwide studios president Phil Harrison unveiled Home, a new online service for the PlayStation 3. Besides avatar-based social networking, Home will sport three-dimensional meeting places, movie theaters, and minigame halls replete with pool and bowling. The service will also give gamers virtual apartments that PS3 owners can decorate with furniture, wallpaper, and Sony-branded electronics.
Home apartments will also come with a "trophy room" in which PS3 gamers can showcase their "gaming accomplishments." Each chamber of honor will have virtual display cases in which users can select fully 3D trophies that will be awarded when a certain milestone in a PS3 game is reached. The awards shown off by Harrison included statuettes for the PlayStation Store games LocoRoco 2 and Super Rub-a-Dub, as well as a Hellghast villain from the forthcoming PS3 Killzone preserved like a heavily armored pheasant under glass.
The virtual trophy rooms will be part of a PlayStation Network-wide service Harrison calls "The Hall of Fame." Users will be able to access a vast hall reminiscent of the Star Wars prequels' senate chambers that will allow them to browse trophies from games they have not yet played. They will be able to see their friends' trophies by paying a visit to said colleagues' Home apartments.
Harrison did not mention whether or not all PS3 games, like 360 games, will be required to award trophies. The Hall of Fame feature will launch alongside Home in the US and Europe this fall.