PlayStation Home beta opens

[UPDATE] Public trial for the PS3's avatar-based social-networking service has gone live in the EU and US.

by

[UPDATE] Via its PlayStation Blog, PlayStation Home director Jack Buser has announced that the PlayStation Home beta is now live. Newcomers can now access the virtual world via a PlayStation Home button in the PlayStation 3's borderline dyslexic XrossMediaBar. Yesterday's original story of the beta launch announcement is below. [END UPDATE]

Since being announced back at GDC 2007 by Phil Harrison, PlayStation Home has been the subject of a lot of expectation. Originally planned for a 2007 release, Home has had several delays and setbacks pushing it back to late 2008.

Earlier this week, The Times suggested that the release was coming "within the next 10 days." As it turns out, gamers won't have to wait even that long, because Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and America today jointly announced that the Home beta will be open to all on December 11.

Dog, string vest, and shotgun not included.

PlayStation Home will let users interact and communicate via unique avatars in real time using text or voice. Within Home there will be a variety of minigames, videos, and clubs--areas where users can come together and share similar interests. Each aspect of Home will be customisable, and players will be able to buy new clothes, furnishings, and even whole new apartments direct from the PlayStation store. Clubhouses will also be available for those wishing to create clubs, though for a price--how much was unclear. Sony simply stated that "to be a Clubhouse owner, user will need to buy the entitlement to run the club."

There will also be regional game-related content. Users accessing PlayStation Home in the SCEE regions will have a Far Cry 2 space to explore at launch, with spaces for MotorStorm, Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, and SOCOM promised soon in the region. SCEE and SCEA also confirmed that they are working with EA and Ubisoft, among others, with a view to creating more such spaces. The Far Cry 2 space will also be available to those in SCEA territories, and Resistance and Guitar Hero spaces are promised for the region.

Companies will, as expected, also get the opportunity to use Home as a marketing space. Sony has detailed plans involving both Sony Pictures and Paramount Pictures, which will involve "dedicated spaces, sponsorship of in-world events, virtual items and exclusive media viewings in the PlayStation Home Theatre."

The first such event was confirmed by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and will be centred around the upcoming movie of acclaimed graphic novel Watchmen. It will feature a selection of virtual Watchmen merchandise as well as a chance for some to virtually meet members of the film's cast and crew in a Watchmen-themed environment in 2009.

Ligne Roset joins Diesel among Home's earliest retailers.

The Watchmen promo accompanies two previously announced sponsorships with fashion label Diesel and energy drink Red Bull. The latter will offer the opportunity to take part in a virtual version of the Red Bull Air Race, a stunt-flying championship around Red Bull Island. Ligne Roset will provide contemporary furniture, and users will be able to customise items before they buy them.

PlayStation Home will be available as a free download starting December 11. It should install automatically after rebooting the PS3 once the update becomes available, after which a PlayStation Home icon will simply appear in the XrossMediaBar (XMB).

Discussion

1618 comments
Mikethechimp
Mikethechimp

Pretty cool graphics, OK engine, but it's empty overall.

tu2pac
tu2pac

It's a new breeding ground for those with sick minds ... give it time.

frazzle00
frazzle00

I'd rather have more exclusives to play instead of stuff like this. Home basically looks like it'll be an interactive ad space for companies to hawk unnecessary, non-game related fare. Thanks but no thanks.

mrluketastic
mrluketastic

its good for the first three hours or so, but after you've done everything you can, you left thinking 'what next?'. playstation really need to expand it more to make this gem of a game a true great

sirelfblood
sirelfblood

I've used it. It's fun - you can use a lot of emotes to communicate and even dance near video screens that play adverts. You can go to a virtual theatre where you can watch real movie trailers, there are free arcade games and a bowling alley. The shopping with real money thing's a bit ridiculous, but if you need to relax from the idiocy of it, you can actually play chess live with somebody else. Which is good, because unlike versus a computer, you actually have some chance of winning. Hats off to Sony, they've pulled it off. The connection varies while the servers are 'warming up', but I can see great things for Home users as it gets expanded and improved.

fabz_95
fabz_95

It seems pretty fun I guess.

keyblade42
keyblade42

I don't think I'll use REAL mony to buy fake furniture and clothes but I'll still enjoy it. Also I think they should stream live video instead of having to download it and wait for the lame Twilight trailer and Paramore music video.

Futil1ty
Futil1ty

I just started laughing because I remember the whole Xbox 360 Avatar and Wii Mii debate, and just realized that nobody mentioned (that I know of) PS3's Home.

wlgtiby67
wlgtiby67

mostly its a 3D community "game" like a visual open blog to meet people. it just happens to have items where u can liven up your apartment and change what your character wears. doesnt sound too special, and if you're looking for something engaging it wont b that but depends what you're looking for. i'd say try it and if you don't like it... well it'll only waste ten minutes of your time if that's the case

Kleeyook
Kleeyook

HAA! Is this a game? Or just 3D community sims?

wlgtiby67
wlgtiby67

im with flyeboi on this one. idk i think it's fun to meet and talk to new people so in that matter of speaking it works well. if you dont care about that then id say dont bother with it because it's not close to the customization of the sim games. by the way you dont have to buy everything, you can win stuff if you play the arcade games in it as well

FLYEboi50
FLYEboi50

see i have no idea what you all are complaining about. its a beta. its free. and i have no problems with it. first of all i don't believe it to be a game. ITS A VIRTUAL COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICE!!! You meet people and talk to them on it. if you don't have fun conversations with your friends STOP COMPLAINING. second if you bought the sims you wouldn't be able to talk to your friends on the ps3 now would you? the buying stuff may seem a lil far but you would probably get the same value worth for the sims' price. last but not least i really don't care if you agree or disagree with this comment. i've stated enough reasons why yall should like home or just stop complaining at least. its a free open beta of a virtual community based service. what some of you people are complaining about idk.

larryb007
larryb007

From what i have heard so far, home is a disaster. By the time it becomes fun (for more than a half hour or so) it will be 2010 TOO LITTLE TOO LATE

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

Thus far the hardest thing about Playstation 3 "HOME" is logging on. In 12 attempts to sign into "HOME" I've only succeeded 3 (error .604) The best Home could ever be is Active Worlds with better graphics.

collingtonuk
collingtonuk

Home is repeating the PS3 experience perfectly for me. Over-hyped, massively delayed and ultimately not worth the wait.

maxpaynev3
maxpaynev3

O_O WOW!!! I can't believe this sony fanboys not giving HOME a chance, its like sony not liking their own games. I don't remember seeing many xbox fanboys not liking NXE. Some of you are saying its a waste of resources lets see a game would last for 3-6 months, HOME maybe forever. I mean xbox live advertise so why can't sony do the same in a smart way??? FINAL POINT is you don't have to download it so if you hate HOME don't download or just delete it but as you all wine & complain HOME will be expanding & it may have exclusive stuff you can only get on home (downloadable content, trophies, etc) P.S. If you have ideas & complains about HOME please share them at http://boardsus.playstation.com/playstation/board?board.id=ps3home & yes the developers are reading all of them to make HOME better for you so please at least they are trying...

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

This is the way I see it: The New Xbox Experience (NXE) on Xbox 360 puts all of the marketing up front and in your face and forces you to scroll through the B.S. to get to any part of your console; whether it be playing a game, viewing your game library, or viewing achievments. Microsoft gives players the option of getting around all the marketing through the new Guide. Playstation Home is an interactive marketing vista. When you turn on your PS3, you are not forced into the Home world. You can instantly access all of your settings and files directly from the XMB. Once you get into home you quickly start to see how this is a mere cover for a store-front. It's also nice that you have access to the XMB while in Home. I think the ideas are great for Home. At least you can joke and chat with your friends avatars while you are walking around shopping together. Sure, you can use Live chat on XBL and do the same thing, but it's more immersive in Home. You can dance and emote while you shop. It makes the experience a little more fun. The Home Beta is pretty shallow at the moment, but I think it has a lot of potential pending some additions to the world. It sucks having to pay $0.50 for a t-shirt for your avatar, but it could be worse. Hopefully they will bring in some worthwhile content at the full release. Microsoft is doing the same thing with their avatars. My guess is that MS will sell t-shirts for 20 MS points. Hopefully it will be less though. Anyway, it's fun in short bursts and there is obviously a lot of room to grow. The download size is only 72MB for the initial stuff and then around 30MB per section that you want to add. It all downloads and installs quickly and you can download an area in the background while you play around. I'm excited to see what they do with Home over the next year after 3rd parties have started taking full advantage of the service.

rob123911
rob123911

The option to download home is under the Playstation Network symbol on the XMB. I couldn't find it before but I have just found it and I am downloading it now.

Harerazer
Harerazer

Oh, maybe someday it'll become worthwhile (free game related items and clothing, maybe) but as for today it's something you do for five minutes while you wait for your PC to finish it's downloads.

Harerazer
Harerazer

HOME is simply a thinly disguised store. The only fully functional feature is that you can buy chairs and clothes and stuff (using real money) for your virtual room. The avatar feature is misused, at best, and the actual "home" (a single room) feature is stupid. What's the point? Then add in all of the kids and juvenile adults, which is not Sony's fault, and it's just a waste of time. I mean, what intelligent adult purposely makes his character sit down when he's having a conversation? Are the polygons gonna get tired? So far, all I've seen of use are the PS3 related ads and movies. I don't know for sure what I was actually expecting Sony to produce here but this isn't it. It took a year before there were any decent games and now they waste time on something like this. HOME is basically just a nerd dancing simulator. Just don't bother downloading it, guys.

chrisdfa
chrisdfa

@xdeiri basically your a complete idiot. i know there are problems with home at the moment, but what i don't think you've understood is that home is still a BETA! (meaning it is NOT finished yet!) AND.... if your going to be commenting on a ps3 title, don't go bigging up xbox you **** fanboy! i don't think anybody who owns a ps3 actually cares about your stereotypical perception on there prized consoles and its competition. you can't expect everything to be perfect within the first week/ 2weeks of any game with an online mode, just the way things are, so get used to it! and for your information PS3 graphics are considerably better than 360's. i own both consoles and also 12hundred prounds worth of HD TV to play them on. so don't argue with me. if you want conformation of this fact just check out ps3 titles like MGS4 and Resistance 2. and the highly anticipated Killzone2 will put the nail on your arguements coffin. hope you have a very merry christmas ;D

xdeiri
xdeiri

sorry guys but i cant help but to say ps3 is one hella big flub in all it stages, sony really f@#* up this time , the 360 coast 30% of what the ps3 coast and xbox is beating the crap out of it in every way even in graphics. .

xdeiri
xdeiri

yah it opens and it sucks . especially that every small thing have to be downloaded not to mention the 3and a half gigs reservation. like the 2 gigs mandatory download for mgs4 on line . keep this things on and the ps3 hdd will be useless .oh yah and it feels like a crappy version of second life to sony i love my ps3 for its GAMES and HD , so dont waste your breath on an already lost battle , and i dnot like my ps3 as a slow celeron pc to run buggy sims

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

This is just the beginning of an actual virtual reality.

supersonikk
supersonikk

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

bennuknel
bennuknel

Not sure how it gonna go, but once the logging in gets sorted out at least wont have to get bored trying to get in! I may be easily entertained, but i had a lot of fun just making the avatar and then standing in front of randon people doing the Robot!!! Really worth getting either a headset or keyboard...

DDR_Midian
DDR_Midian

"IMO, so don't bash me, but I think HOME is and was a complete waste of time, money, and resources. Sony could have spent that moeny on holding exclusives and making killer games. I personally will probably never use home...." Totally agree. I see people sticking up for it all over the place with lines such as "it's a beta" and "what did you expect?", well I'll answer: The PS3 is supposed to be the most powerful console on the face of the planet, this app is built by the company that made the PS3, and is supposed to be representing it. Therefore I expected quality, what we've got currently feels like one of those free Burger King games. It's "alright", but come on... Sony, Playstation 3, cell processor and all that, we should be getting something amazing and revolutionary. There's so much missed potential here it's unreal, although I suppose to Sony they're getting exactly what they wanted, a crapload of advertising space and an excuse to shower us with micro-transactions.

ssnake18
ssnake18

i have a question...if u buy a couch for example...do u only get one couch or like unlimited of that couch u purchased so u can put more than one in ur apartment?

TripSe7en
TripSe7en

IMO, so don't bash me, but I think HOME is and was a complete waste of time, money, and resources. Sony could have spent that moeny on holding exclusives and making killer games. I personally will probably never use home....

hallgren
hallgren

The thing that I want to try out the most is the game launching feature has anyone tried that out yet and if so how has it worked? Besides that I like what Home has to offer and I will probably spend some of my own money but I agree that they should implement a credit system to earn some virtual money and being able to get more lucrative items by earning certain trophies with in Home! I feel that would go along way with the consumer and keep more people coming back to Home and entice more people to participate and enlist, I hope Sony does that!

GTA_MGS_1
GTA_MGS_1

Good but to many connection problems.

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

I think it's great. I had so many random moments that really made me laugh. I played bowling, lost at chess, won at pool, got 6 new people on my friends list but got denied by one because I told him I'm loco. He said "well go be loco on your own because I don't add people at random". I showed my disaproval by shaking my fist in his face. I think HOME is great and it should be even better once new things get added. It puts the 360's stupid avatar idea to shame. At least with HOME the avatars actually have meaning. Microsoft and Nintendo have some catching up to do. HOME is excellent.

adamlyons87
adamlyons87

I agree with donksyjohn, it is a bit disappointing seeing all the desperate guys swarming around the handful of girls there. With all the classy waterfront apartments and everything, you might have been forgiven for hoping Home would have made a refreshing change to the rest of the Internet.

Mr_Q_Oz
Mr_Q_Oz

It's like a really slow way to see a load of advertising. :P

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

meh its so so , i mean if they incorporate fake jobs so you earn credits or buy as an option . like second life then it be perfect

donksyjohn
donksyjohn

I checked it out and its was kind of awesome then it got boring. I didnt have a headset (but have just bought the Sony PS3 headset and havent tried it with Home yet). Its a bit sad seeing a group of virtual guys chasing around one virtual hot chick. I made my character as UGLY as I could, and all it did was annoy people and make them hang %&@ on me!!! I might keep playing nazi Zombies i think, until weaponry and zombies are introduced to Sony Home

scrubs_06
scrubs_06

I have not been able to get online since launch of beta!!! THE ERROR SERVER TIME OUT C-931 ....anyone else having these issues???

hilltops
hilltops

I think if you put into perspective.. Sony are making a good move to bring the ability to interact outside of games in an online gaming community with other people etc. Has a real Sim-City feel!! :D

maxpaynev3
maxpaynev3

Home is OK right now. I mean its a port for you to interact & socialize with the gaming community(PS3) & for the people who say why you couldn't get clothes for free, pretty soon you'll have clothes & items according to which games you play i got NAMCO clothes just by playing a Beta NAMCO game that i downloaded for free online & i agree HOME have a lot of potential, A LOT OF POTENTIAL we'll just have to wait & see

FLYEboi50
FLYEboi50

im only in for ps home becuz we have a trophy room now.

Prime05
Prime05

Gonna check it out 2nite...

Evilsync
Evilsync

What a crappy idea, and crappy implementation.

Krammin
Krammin

It's fun at the moment BUT won't be buying anything for it, therefore will get boring very soon. Would rather spend the $$ on buying real clothes and going out and hanging with real people.

internationaal
internationaal

It has potential, but I'm just not going to shell out money for virtual items. And the fact it isn't possible to login again... (connection to server lost).

Knutte79
Knutte79

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

no_cultureicons
no_cultureicons

I haven't tried this out myself, but from what I can tell it seems to be a bit of a disappointment. Reading the comments, I agree Sony should offer clothing and whatnot for trophy points or some other sort of non-real money. People have already paid for the console and presumably games too and Sony are getting their wallets and purses filled with cash from advertisers so why ask people to buy things that really aren't worth the money. That said, if those digital items aren't worth buying then why bother complaining that you can't get them for free?

madcalum1992
madcalum1992

it quite bad u need to pay for everything from clothes furniture houses quite bad i thought this would give ps3 something good but doesnt look like it

Triton
Triton

Too bad I don't play on-line with folks on this system...I save that for the xbox. Maybe Sunny-boy will improve our on-line experience in 2009?

supersonikk
supersonikk

It's funny how much attention you get if you turn your character into a girl :P

FAMILYGUYFAN17
FAMILYGUYFAN17

i dont get what was so great about. it was like a boring sims. i just walked around and did nothing. and you have to actually buy stuff with real money?