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Sony Further Details Home, Looks to October Launch

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the i-do-so-love-palatable-advertising dept.

PlayStation (Games) 37

njkid1 writes "According to GameDaily, new details have been revealed about the Home service for the PlayStation 3. Not only will the advertising possibilities be 'limitless,' but the virtual community will also be able to serve as a bustling commerce hub. Transactions will eventually be able to take place within Home itself, and the company refers to the possibility of ticketing for virtual events like developer chats or game previews. At the same time, however, Sony said that advertising will be made 'palatable' so as not to drive away users. A Q&A at the official Sony site states that an October launch is planned (pdf) for the service." GameDaily also has an article looking at reactions from Microsoft and Nintendo on Sony's announcement.

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hmm (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318783)

Everything Ive heard from Sony about this so far sounds like they are marketing it as an advertising vehicle. I hope it has something to offer the players.

Kind of an Advertising Vehicle (1)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18319067)

Sony is not a communist organization. They need to make money to keep the shareholders happy. If they want something to be free to their users, they have to pay for it somehow. Advertising is the most obvious way. I don't think I'll mind the adverts as long as the service remains free. And they really won't want to charge for a service that is so core to their console especially after they've pledged to keep it free. I bet the cost of operating HOME outweighs the cost of a low subscription fee ala XBox Live.

I think the fact that they're going to make it available on PSP and Mobile Devices like Cell Phones says that's it's less an advertising vehicle and more of an attempt to create a kind of Portal specifically for Sony products and worlds. It might even be possible for them to integrate this into their other electronics lines at some point, although televisions might defeat the purpose of a PS3 I guess...

Re:Kind of an Advertising Vehicle (1)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#18320973)

Sony is not a communist organization. They need to make money to keep the shareholders happy. If they want something to be free to their users, they have to pay for it somehow.

So don't make it free for everything. Charge people to buy an "apartment" or a customizable avatar if they don't want to wander around as "Ken" or "Barbie". Read some SF. I mean, True Names was written a quarter of a century ago, there's been hundreds of "virtual reality" novels and short stories since then, surely at least one of them contains an idea or two they can use... :)

Users decide what they like (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330201)

Sony is not a communist organization. They need to make money to keep the shareholders happy.

I think you're kind of missing the point of the criticism. Nobody thinks Sony should not be allowed to make money. However, I, as a customer, don't care about whether they make money or not. It does not influence my decisions. I evaluate their product based on whether I enjoy it. If it's an ad-filled piece of marketing, I will avoid it.

Not because I hate the fact that Sony makes money, but because it simply does not appeal to me.

Re:hmm (2, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#18322523)

Sony doesn't need users. They can sell millions of consoles just based on the flowery scent of their own farts. Just ask them. They'll tell you.

-Eric

Re:hmm (2, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 7 years ago | (#18323753)

I hope it has something to offer the players.

Well yes it does. You get to roam public and private spaces, play the mini games, talk shit with other PS3 owners, make friends, form groups, congregate in special interest areas etc. Of course it's got advertising, but then it's free so what do you expect? The danger to Sony is that all of the above has to be attractive to players - it has to load fast and offer compelling functionality despite the ads. If it's just a hollow exercise halls in flogging billboard space (and metric tracking reports of how often they're in view etc.) then the thing will tank and rightly so.

More concerning is the trend to put advertising into things you've already paid for. For example Crackdown has live advertising thanks to Massive - Microsoft's in-game marketing functionality.

Good to know... (3, Interesting)

nigel_q (523775) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318795)

... that the advertising possibilities are limitless. After all, that's why people buy the system, right? To be served unique and novel advertisements?

Not for Public Consumption (4, Insightful)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18319159)

This document wasn't made for public consumption, although neither the summary nor the linked article state this. It was designed to pitch HOME to Developers and Publishers of games (note that the document's URL is "Third Party Relations.pdf" and on the SCE Developers website). If you want to get a business to sign onto something, you have to show them how to make money. That explains the hyped advertising talk.

Re:Not for Public Consumption (0)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18320301)

Fair enough, but your comment doesn't seem to be a rebuttal to the poster to whom you replied. You imply that they are lying to the developers, or they are lying to the customers.

I never implied anything (1)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18321783)

I just wanted to say that you should take the document with a grain of salt...it's obviously been handed over to the marketing department to sell the product.

Re:Good to know... (1)

_egg (86248) | more than 7 years ago | (#18337547)

Also from the document:
Q: Will consumers be bombarded with advertising?
Advertising is a core revenue source for the publishers who will have to put a
lot of resource and money into making the Home experience as fulfilling as it
will be. As an offset to having to pay for the basic online service, and being
able to enjoy the fundamental Home experience for free, some advertising is
entirely reasonable. Advertising will be kept to palatable levels however. It is
in no-one's interests to cause users to leave Home through excessive
advertising.

Home is Stupid (4, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318891)

Why is it so damn hard to just make a simple universal lobby/game-connectivity center within a console? I don't have to join some idiotic twelve-year-old-girl's fantasy three-dimensional The Sims world to jump into a game of CounterStrike or Civilization IV on my PC. Why do I have to do that on my consoles? This is seriously one of the most retarded ideas ever and it would cause me to lean toward turning on my 360 instead of my PS3 when I sit down on the sofa for a bit of gaming, just because I don't want to play "Second Life" just to get to my damned Company of Heroes.

Re:Home is Stupid (1)

DarkJC (810888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18319223)

You don't have to launch home to play Company of Heroes. Just launch the game from the XMB...

Re:Home is Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18320265)

I don't have to join some idiotic twelve-year-old-girl's fantasy three-dimensional The Sims world to jump into a game of CounterStrike or Civilization IV on my PC. Why do I have to do that on my consoles?

Because games are for pedos, of course [gucomics.com] .

Re:Home is Stupid (2, Interesting)

DrXym (126579) | more than 7 years ago | (#18323563)

Sony will have to get their priorities right Home will work if they get the balance. You claim it's a 12 year old girl's fantasy, but if Home allowed clans to set up meeting rooms, some idle amusements like small games, bowling, pool, movie trailers etc. and offered some form of integration with games, then I see no reason it couldn't work. Even allowing people to visit each other's rooms and talk shit would be an attraction to some.

Obviously if it were just some hollow, pointless affair that lived separately from your gaming experience it probably will fail (or be revamped). Let's hope Sony know what they're doing.

Re:Home is Stupid (1)

Deaney (1014409) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326127)

Let's hope Sony know what they're doing.

Mod this up as funny!

Re:Home is Stupid (1)

beef623 (998368) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326321)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't remeber him saying that this would be a replacement for either the store, message system or main menu its just an extra option you can use if you want to. It doesn't really interest me, but I think it looks like a good idea for those who would enjoy it and the fact that its free is even better.

Another thing to consider, I'm sure everyone is thrilled about in game advertising, but why not? It would make it easier to justify a price drop and as long as it doesn't get out of hand, would blend in all the same. Why not see Mountain Dew bottles laying around instead of some pretend brand a dev had to come up with to keep from breaking copyright laws?

Re:Home is Stupid (1)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 7 years ago | (#18329059)

My suggestion is that you read a bit more about Home before making such statements.

And no, it's not only a 12 year-olds fantasy sim. All the girls will love it! Think about the possibilites of speed-dating! :D

Sign me up! (2, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318921)

Not only will the advertising possibilities be 'limitless,'

That does it for me right there. Sign me up!

I just don't get it (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318969)

I don't understand how this is supposed to be appealing. It appears to be basically a Second Life ripoff, except they've taken out most of the customization ability and replaced it with the ability to purchase someone else's customizations (unless you have a developers license).

The whole idea of a "virtual community" sounds great on paper, but this looks like they're basically trying to create a virtual shopping mall. But if I want to shop online, I'll use google or amazon or something like that and find what I need a lot quicker. Why would I want to make my little avatar walk down some virtual hallway to get to the virtual store I want to virtually buy shit from? Isn't that just a waste of time? People need to stop trying to make "virtual communities" look like the real world, and start designing them to take advantage of the strengths the online world has over the real world.

Sony wants this to be a new and revolutionary vehicle for advertising. But for advertising to be effective, you need people to look at the advertisements. If all people get from this is a place to go look at advertisements, they won't stick around for very long. And giving them some private "apartment" where they can change the color of the walls just isn't going to hold anyone's interest for long.

Re:I just don't get it (3, Insightful)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#18319201)

I don't understand how this is supposed to be appealing. It appears to be basically a Second Life ripoff, except they've taken out most of the customization ability and replaced it with the ability to purchase someone else's customizations (unless you have a developers license).

The whole idea of a "virtual community" sounds great on paper, but this looks like they're basically trying to create a virtual shopping mall. But if I want to shop online, I'll use google or amazon or something like that and find what I need a lot quicker. Why would I want to make my little avatar walk down some virtual hallway to get to the virtual store I want to virtually buy shit from? Isn't that just a waste of time? People need to stop trying to make "virtual communities" look like the real world, and start designing them to take advantage of the strengths the online world has over the real world.

Sony wants this to be a new and revolutionary vehicle for advertising. But for advertising to be effective, you need people to look at the advertisements. If all people get from this is a place to go look at advertisements, they won't stick around for very long. And giving them some private "apartment" where they can change the color of the walls just isn't going to hold anyone's interest for long.


Well, I know it is not designed to appeal to me ...

I suspect they're trying to aim this service at the Casual or Non-gamer market but what they fail to realize is that no casual gamer will spend $500 for a gaming system ...

Re:I just don't get it (1)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 7 years ago | (#18329079)

No we won't... actually we'll put up alot more!

got my new 42" LCD yesterday.... $2000, the PS3 in Norway, close to $1000 (9 days left!!!!), already got 2 games and an extra six-axis for $200+++...

already "spent" $3200 - and you can count the games I've played the last 6 months apart from Buzz, guitarhero and Singstar on one finger!

Just say it out loud: Europeans are too filthy rich!

Re:I just don't get it (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18319741)

It appears to be basically a Second Life ripoff, except they've taken out most of the customization ability and replaced it with the ability to purchase someone else's customizations (unless you have a developers license).

You've missed one part, the reason I've taken to calling it "PlayStation Second Live": it also adds in the Xbox Live matchmaking features into a Second Life-like environment.

Now either this is the world's worst idea (ever tried to form a group in an MMORPG using only local chat?), or the entire Second Life ripoff part is pointless, because all you'll ever do is launch the matchmaking tool and ignore the 3D stuff happening behind it.

In any case: "PlayStation Second Live".

Re:I just don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18321029)

What's REALLY going to fuck this up is that it's only going to run on a bloody expensive games console. Hence, it's going to be an absolute knobfest. If you look at the most popular places in SL, it's all strip clubs and other places designed for perves, because all that most people use it for is cybersex and trying to pull 'women' online. Any woman on this is going to get harrassed to the point of leaving.

SL is shit anyway. This is the same thing with more advertising, better graphics, and the customisation removed. Can't imagine it selling a massive amount of consoles to be honest.

Remember the first online stores? 3D doesn't work. (2, Insightful)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#18330335)

I pretty much agree with what you're writing.

When the Internet first started to become popular, people always expected things to become threedimensional. Boo.com allowed users to show 3D versions of their wares. VRML was supposed to replace HTML and turn the Internet into some kind of 3D cyberspace. Everyone thought file browsers would become 3D - remember Jurassic Park? Apple had this weird 3D web browser (I think it was called Soap or something). And Apple, always trying to be the innovator, even gave out CDs with virtual stores in them: You could walk through an Apple store, look at computers and talk to weird avatars. When creating online shops, customers always wanted to recreate their own real shops. "Can we have a 3D version of our shop where the user walks through the aisles and puts things into a virtual shopping cart?"

Guess what, that idea is broken. For games, 3D can add something to the experience. But if you actually want something done, like talking to somebody, or buying something, or joining a game, you need to have an interface that suits the device you're using. Namely, the TV. Your TV is 2D, not 3D. You wanna buy a book on amazon? You enter the title or author, and there it is. No need to walk through a 3D store and get lost because you ended up in the wrong section. Wanna chat with somebody? Click on their name in your chat app of choice and start typing. No need to walk through a 3D world, trying to find them. Wanna watch a movie? Hit youtube, enter what you like, click, watch. You don't want to go to a virtual cinema, figure out which room your movie is playing, and find a place where you can actually see the screen.

Don't reproduce the worst parts of real life in a computer interface!

Games can be 3D because the creator intentionally creates obstacles for the user. Gamers want to have "hard" interfaces. Otherwise, the game would not be fun (and even so, people complain about 3D jump-n-runs - timing jumps is much easier in 2D!). But if you actually want to get things done, 3D just gets in your way.

Home looks like the wet dream of a Sony executive right out of the early 90s. Maybe they invented the time machine or something, but I really thought we had finally figured out that 3D interfaces are not a good idea for most types of software.

Wow, that was hard to parse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18318973)

Maybe it is just me, but I had to read that headline five times before it made sense. Worse yet, it isn't even /.'s fault - the headline is straight from the article. Alex, may I buy a verb?

Re:Wow, that was hard to parse (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18319095)

verbs = details and looks

Re:Wow, that was hard to parse (1)

darkrowan (976992) | more than 7 years ago | (#18319127)

Details.... and Looks, I think...

Sounds good but... (3, Interesting)

EvilGoodGuy (811015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18319405)

Shouldn't they just have delayed the PS3 launch till October, when the selling point of the game was released? Microsoft released the 360 before many headline games so that they would have the console marketshare. Would have been nice to have a reason to buy the PS3 when it came out, not a year later.

Re:Sounds good but... (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18319697)

Would have been nice to have a reason to buy the PS3 when it came out, not a year later.

Microsoft released the Xbox 360 so early it forced the other players to hurry up and get their consoles on the market.

Nintendo could survive being later to market than Xbox because they have by far the cheapest offering in this generation. Sony has the most expensive. They couldn't be expensive AND late.

Remind me to reconfigure my firewall (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 7 years ago | (#18319445)

ads.sony.com -> 127.0.0.1

Re:Remind me to reconfigure my firewall (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18324023)

So you're blocking connections to Sony's ad server. Watch your attempt to log on to the game server fail because the ad server serves a key part of the authentication.

I'm looking forward to it! (3, Informative)

dannycim (442761) | more than 7 years ago | (#18320931)

Why poo-poo something that's going to be free and optional? Don't like it? Don't have to use it.

Heck, item creation http://youtube.com/watch?v=a91ZzOMEwYY [youtube.com] looks like it's going to be easy and fun. Here's another video in real-time: http://youtube.com/watch?v=nuoOosTdFiY [youtube.com]

Re:I'm looking forward to it! (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18322013)

You do realize that the videos you linked to are for LittleBigPlanet, which is most certainly not free (but definitely is optional, as it's a game), and not for PlayStation Second Live, right?

Sorry, "PlayStation Home" - it's just so similar to both Second Life and Xbox Live, I get it confused...

Re:I'm looking forward to it! (1)

dannycim (442761) | more than 7 years ago | (#18323983)

I was just pointing out that cooperative games inside of the Playstation Home umbrella will be fun, as the editor video shows.

I dunno. Sony's preparing a decent online service and everyone's complaining. I smell fanboyism.

Re:I'm looking forward to it! (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 7 years ago | (#18324051)

Maybe it's because Sony has been screwing over its customers in many ways in the recent past. Their rootkit fiasco is, in my opinion, more than enough reason to try to fuck them in the ass by making them look bad in front of prospective customers.

It's not like we have to lie anyway, Sony is shooting itself in the foot enough to make it easy to criticize them.

Re:I'm looking forward to it! (1)

MoriaOrc (822758) | more than 7 years ago | (#18322107)

Little Big Planet looks like it has some real potential.

This article, though, is about PlayStation Home [engadget.com] , which seems something like XBox Live (especially marketplace and achievements) meets Miis, with shiny graphics and a public chat lobby.
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