When home first got announced and finally released I was a fan. Sure there wasn’t a ton of stuff to do but it had pool tables and bowling, and that was fun, and still is.
Since then there have been numerous spaces released and improvements to the overall platform. I joined in with Xi, and I enjoyed it. Since then though it’s been hard to find the need to go into home. It seems like every home space is either cool for a short time and then the novelty wears off, or it just leaves me wondering why they even bothered making it.
Even the spaces that are doing something innovative and interesting like the Buzz HQ don’t have the ability to keep me going back.
As it stands now, there are a handful of spaces I would consider going back to semi-regularly, and that’s being generous. The main one is the bowling ally, mostly because of the pool tables. The issue there is that even though it’s realistic to have to wait for a table or a bowling lane, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense when you consider that it wouldn’t be hard for them to just let you play with a friend at any time.
What I’ve been waiting for recently has been some interactive items to hit the “stuff”store in the shopping centre, such as a pool table, so that I could invite a friend over to my apartment to play a game of pool, chat and then possibly game-launch into something else from there.
However I can’t see this happening soon because of the fact that a pool game called Hustle Kings is coming out on PSN pretty soon I think.
In a way I’m excited for hustle kings, but at the same time I kind of feel like I would have preferred an item in home as opposed to a whole game just for pool. It will essentially negate one of the only things that keeps me interested in home right now.
This leads me to the point of this post. Is home what Sony should be spending their time and money developing right now over other things?
In my opinion it’s a simple answer, No.
The most important thing for Sony to solve right now is making the PS3 and the PSN better. It seems like everyone wants the Xbox 360 style party system and cross-game voice chat and invites.
Game-launching in home is a similar concept but it takes so long to load into home and find your friends, that it negates most of the point. I suppose if your looking for a game with other people then it can be useful, but most people won’t be using game-launching for that.
I still like Home, but Sony need to focus their energies on these other more important things rather than making spaces no one will ever go back to. If they are going to work on home, they need to stop ripping people off with virtual items and implement a trophy room for players to show off their trophies to their friends. They also need to get voice chat back in there for public spaces. I heard that it still works in private but I’ve never tried it personally.
The reason I bring this up now is because I went back into home last night to see the new singstar spaces, and I was just thinking about how pointless and silly that experience was.
I really hope Sony sort themselves out but as we know, they always seem to be doing some good things and some not so good things all the time. For example: PS3 Slim vs PSP go and Uncharted 2 vs Home.
Thanks for reading.