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Are Sony going to cut corners to get us all Home?

Submitted by on Tuesday, 9 December 20084 Comments

If we are to believe the incessant promises that are compounded by numerous sites including our friends over at Joystiq, Home is coming to North America this month. In an interview with Jack Buser – PlayStation Home’s director – he is quoted as saying “We’ve been saying it will launch by the end of calendar year 2008, and that’s getting very, very close.”

Is it just me, or does that seem to be more of a panic-riddled response to the general indifference people seem to be treating the plagued Home release date with these days? Could we see a crazed rush going on behind doors at Home HQ trying to get the product ready for general beta release?

The Home concept has been much-maligned in the press, and not without some due cause. It was billed by Phil Harrison as setting the evolution of the whole ‘Game 2.0’ thing. He barked on about how this would see a step-change in online interactions at every public demonstration for the best part of three years.

But in my experience, this has not translated into the closed beta thus far. Everything is a bit day-glow colours and over-saturation. There are too few people there to really make a call on how it will feel once out there in the public domain, but so far, there just isn’t any impetus to go and see what is going on.

I have had the Home Beta for some time, but I could count the number of times I have actually been into it on one hand. There just isn’t anything to do. Sure, you can dress up your avatar and give yourself an Echochrome makeover if you so desire. You can play pool with someone or bowling with a few others. You can have a bash at some of the arcade games if you really fancy.

But there is still no reason to do so. That could change if the game-specific spaces are designed well enough. It could come in handy if my parents in India decide to get a PS3 and want to have a birthday party at my virtual apartment rather than blow £3k getting back to the U.K.

Somehow, I don’t see that happening. I sorely want to be proved wrong, and look forward to the bashing I’ll get from the team here if and when that day comes. Something tells me that day could still be a long way off…