This week Sony announced Home, a virtual world that PS3 owners can connect to. It won’t be too unfamilar to you if you’ve ever visited second life but the graphics on Home seem to be significantly better, although controlling with a sixaxis is never going to be as good as a mouse (or even a wii-mote) for pointing at things with, although it seems very plausable that you’ll be able to use a bluetooth mouse and keyboard with your PS3, or even a wired one.
The big question is however, is this the feature that really starts to turn the PS3 into something more people will want to pick up? For me, probably not. I mean it’s a virtual world and not a game really, and even if it does have great graphics and cool features I still won’t buy a PS3 for it. I would buy a PS3 to play games and movies (if blu-ray wins) mainly, but this will be a nice freebie (I hope it’s free anyway). It just doesn’t cut it as a feature which would actually sell consoles despite it’s flashiness.
Then again, (resuming writing this post after wating the youtube video above), wow, it looks great graphically and functionally. Second Life will have some trouble competing with this unless it gets some major upgrades before this is released. I’m not sure however if this will allow people to buy and sell things with real money so I guess if it doesn’t which looks fairly likely then SL will at least keep a lot of the business people, although who will they sell to if everyone else is on home?
I’ve been thinking recently about how much negative press Sony has been taking on the PS3 and I’m just coming to the conclusion that whatever happens, the PS3 will be a success. While a lot of former Sony people make the switch to Microsoft’s console or the wii, I’m trying to remind myself that people are fickle. Like when the gamecube was the kiddie console and the PS2 was the best thing ever. Now the opposite is happening so who’s to say it won’t flip around again?
My prediction is a pretty obvious one but I’ll say it anyway. If blu-ray wins against HD DVD then the PS3 will be a huge success. If it fails it will be a modest success. We’ll see what happens but things are starting to look a bit brighter for Sony. But what they really need is a reason for people to pick up the console in the first place. Meaning lots of great HD games.