Console Disappointments: PS3 Home
This isn’t the usual expressions of negativity made by people who have either never tried it, only dismissed it after a few visits as it was just starting up or refuse to even go near it because of, “broken promises” such as the trophy room. No, this is just some general complaining and criticisms from someone who does use it often.
First up is scale and quality of virtual items. The pleasant surprise of getting a model of the knight in White Knight Chronicles which turned out to be eight feet tall, to the disappointment of paying for a model of a Resistance Goliath that didn’t come up to my avatar’s ankle. In-between there’s monsters from Lost Planet scaled to around knee height. Another more recent example is a set of hover bikes used in a mini-game for the Xi online event done last year with the various spaces brought back as a “museum.” The bikes 1-1 scale virtual world models when they cold have been smaller, yet presented on wooden bases and supported, the holographic one aside, on metal poles. There’s also a planets of our solar system that are baseless globes of various sizes which just sit on the ground where they could and should have been floating. Much like earlier offered Earth and Sun models which also light up which together are more expensive than the other eight or nine worlds combined.
Don’t know if Pluto’s included, but that’s besides the point.
There’s also an equal quaintly of inequality with Home personal spaces. Though most share the same baseline price, the amount of room you get, general setting and features such as mini-games or background animations is often up in the air. And where you get something like the London Pub or the Waterfall Terrance, you also find places like the Dragon’s Lair or Lucas Art’s Pirate ship space, the last which managed to be both bland and unlivable with constant annoying sounds. The Ratchet and Clank space has multi-stories, but comes off as cramped and confused, where the FFXIII seems a half thought out and confined thought. Another exploitation of the franchise’s name.
And then there are instances like the Hollywood and new Loot Yacht spaces. Both offering media streaming, yet where the more recently introduced yacht space has had regular content updates and even hosted live streaming events, videos offered in the Hollywood space are exactly what they were when it was first sold.
The point I’m trying to get across with all this is, despite Home still being a work in progress even after all this time, its in sore need of a set of standards and fully thought out ideas before final implementation. Much like Nintendo use to do in the NES/SNES days if only because the whole of Home represents the Playstaion’s brand name.
I know that’s very much a mixed bag, but still, just saying.
And as for what they should be doing to set the bar, the Yacht space is a good example. As well as a working wall screen monitor it offers a sundial that literally sets the time of day, active light switches, as well as unlockables which are activated by certain conditions. Getting seagulls after so many visitors are invited. Buying certain items, a dolphin or whale statue, and placing them in the space. And while this last may sound like a grab for extra cash, its actually an opportunity to further open aspects of a virtual world which currently has a very mundane reputation.
Again looking at the Xi hover bikes, full scale ornaments, its pretty obvious that with just a bit more effort they could have been made into interactive items. Either as a sidesaddle avatar chair or one which is straddled in typical bike ridding manner. Given a six-axis tilt option or made into a cheap dodge-em mini-game with each model having its own. Or more extravagantly, it could be even be a full race game with a track set in the theme of the personal space its in. Given that different companies make different Home spaces and items – my guess for the differences for the Hollywood and Yacht spaces media content – this is where standardization from Sony would fit in.
I don’t see any of this being implemented or fixed, just getting it off my chest.