PlayStation Home Open Beta's Troubled Launch

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bin1127

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It's not unexpected. Nowadays defects during the launch of anything is probably a PR strategy that doesn't cost a penny. but not sure if really want a 3rd Life.

"like some virtual middle finger" very nicely worded.
 
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Uhh, one word. Beta. Who ever thought it was a good idea to release a public beta of what could be a fairly complex service to console users? It is not like these are mostly technical people that understand what beta means. This could end up being a black eye for Sony if they do not get this sorted out fairly quickly.
 

zak_mckraken

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Penny Arcade have been quite harsh with Home. I don't own a PS3 but knowing Sony, I'd say that they're probably right.

http://www.penny-arcade.com/
 
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Errr...? Why release an open beta without the proper server support? Was no one aware that people would download this program and try to log on which might cause server problems? I turned on my PS3 fo rthe first time in a month or so to try this out onnly to get crappy errors. I guess it will be hibernating for another winter.
 

hesido

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I don't understand the heavenly sword hate in the penny arcade article. That alone lowers the value of their article.
 

d_kuhn

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I don't think they need to upgrade their servers at all... probably 90%+ of the traffic they're currently seeing is simple rubbernecking. Folks like myself who listened to 16 months of "it's coming and it's going to be great". I logged in (took a while), created an avatar, and wandered around for 30 minutes... took in the sights.

I don't think I'll be back for quite a while (until there are some new sights to take in), and I suspect I'm not alone. Give it a week or two and the traffic will be a fraction of current levels and the existing infrastructure will probably not have a problem.

Where Sony failed is not that they lacked adequate infrastructure, it's that they didn't implement a queue or waiting room to accommodate periods of high demand.
 

d_kuhn

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Here's the review I wrote right after I got done playing with it:

The Web Based EULA and login process was having problems (lots of timeouts) that I'm guessing was load based, but once I got into the environment everything worked smoothly.

Graphically the environment looked decent, not state of the art but a whole lot better than Second Life (which Sony seems to be modeling Home after).

Obviously content is very limited at this point, you start out in your relatively empty studio 'condo'. It's got a nice ocean view off the patio but there's pretty much nothing to do there after 30 seconds of looking around (and you can't actually GET TO the boats down in the harbor... which means they're wallpaper). The public space is limited to an open court area, bowling area, and a mall with a handful of stores (each having a handful of merchandise).

It seems they have not designed the system to provide an immersive experience, you don't 'walk' to the public space, you disappear from your appartment and appear there. Going between areas also involves discontinuous 'jumps'... I suppose that makes coding easier, but it also hurts the "virtual world" feeling of the environment.

I'm also sure that everyone actually lives in the same virtual condo, which also takes away from the feeling of having your own space in the virtual world. I never saw more than maybe 30 or 40 folks in the public space, so they're obviously setting up multiple spaces that you get automatically shuffled into, but all that happens transparently.

I guess given the complexity of MMO worlds these days I was hoping for more (especially given how long it took to get this far) like a node based setup where you started in a 'Town' made up of folks in your geographical region maybe... and could travel to other towns if you wanted.

I was also hoping for more immersion... like you having a distinct "Condo" to give you an illusion of actual ownership - and seamless connection to public spaces.

Obviously Sony is planning on financing this environment through sales of virtual items like furniture, clothing, and upgraded living spaces (prices seem pretty reasonable given that expectation... if they can get 50 bucks a year out of you then you're into it for the same as XBox Live)... but for me the environment lacks the immersion needed to make it a compelling experience. It's not like I can pop up a Map of "PS3 HomeWorld" and point at a spot and say "that is where my 'condo' is", or "that is where my 'town' is". Instead you have an arbitrary space that you can pay real money to put arbitrary stuff into... but without even the illusion of solidity to anything (except the money... hence the problem).

I'm sure things will improve as more features get added, but at least for me... the current basic operating premise will prevent me from becoming more than peripherally involved in "Home".

I suspect if some of my friends had PS3's then Home would be more interesting (at least as a chat space)... but since I'm the ONLY one of my friends who has one, even the social aspect is unconvincing.

And all the options for facial hair were horrible, so I couldn't tune my avatar (I wear a goat or beard depending on what mood I'm in any particular month) even to the same level of similarity as my Mii and XBox 360 Avatar.

For me the analysis is: Home has potential but needs work.
 
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