Playstation Home was released for public beta last week, and I finally was able to download it this past Monday. Why did I take so long? Because it seemed to take magic for it to appear on my PSNetwork media blade. By the time Monday got here and there was still no sign of the Home icon, I logged onto the PS3 web browser and visited the PS3 blog. There I clicked on a link of news saying, “Playstation Home is now live!” The blog post said that I could restart my system NOW and the Home option would now be available. Sure enough, after several days of waiting, it turns out that by reading a blog post, it magically appeared for me. I assure you, it wasn’t simply overlooked, it’s kind of hard to miss, and I’m very picky about each of my XMB’s being positioned at the very top option.
The download … or should I say the initial download of the game was only 77MB and downloaded rather quickly compared to other PS3 downloads. The install was a breeze … also the fastest of anything I’ve had to wait on before. But as you might already know, there’s probably a reason for this. It seems the basic 77MB download is only one tiny chunk of the game. Graphically, it seems to be your house, character creation screen with feature customization and a very limited pallete of items, and tutorials/controls/setup items.
I’m not sure if each house is the same for everyone, but I received a nice balcony view of a beach-front property. The stock items that come with the house are a couch, some chairs, 2 tables, two “storage” tables and a lamp. You can rearrange, add more of the same or take some away and put back in your inventory. There’s not really much to do in your home, except sit and look out off your balcony.
Want to travel to the Mall, Theater or the Plaza? Well, que it up and … wait … that’ll be another 23-32 or more MB download of content per location. You only have to download it once, and you can select to do a “background” download. It’s fairly quick too, but still … that’s more space being quickly consumed on your hard drive. No wonder the PS3 was released with such a large drive! Now it all makes since!
The theater was crowded with people dancing, talking and carrying on while a movie preview of “Twilight” played and then a music video. Half the time I was there I was waiting on the content to load, and from what other folks were saying, this is pretty much all that plays all day and night, repeatedly.
The plaza is … a nice place to sit and talk.
The Mall offers a few shops in which you can buy new content. Oh, and when I say “buy,” I really mean, “buy,” as in pay cash for. To purchase a digital image of a model fighter jet for your house costs $0.49-cents. As does new clothing (a simple cowboy hat = .49-cents) and so on. The choice of decorations is very limited, but, of course, this is a Beta, so take everything I’ve said thus far with a grain of salt.
There is also a bowling alley, where you can play pool, arcade games and … bowl. Very social type stuff going on in here.
Over all I suppose the biggest description of Playstation*Home would be: DISAPPOINTING. The game is edited heavily to maintain a friendly rating with kids and adults. Words deemed inappropriate, including hand-typed “hello’s” come out as “****o” because the first four letters also spell “hell” and we can’t have that! It’s a good thing Sony went ahead and released this Beta, as there is still alot of work ahead of them to make it ready for official release. I can also see why they haven’t wanted to release it yet also. On the bright side, I’m glad it’s free because I sure wouldn’t pay for something like this.