I’m really unimpressed with Phil Harrison’s GDC07 presentation. Not one of the announcements made me re-think my choice to not purchase a PS3.
Playstation Home is basically “Second Life” or “There,” and not in any way new or innovative as the press keeps saying. Why would I want to use a $600 console to make an avatar and hang out in an online version of the Sims? And then pay real money for digital clothes and furniture to show off to people I wouldn’t want to talk to anyway? No thanks. This just seems to be Sony’s lame attempt at cashing in on the Web 2.0 market (the MySpace generation). “Hey kids, you can use this boxed computer and internet connection to talk to other people online. Don’t forget to make your avatar your own by giving us some cash for generic yet ad-supported mechandise. And remember, you can’t do this anywhere else.”
One of the biggest selling points he made was the ability to share your music and movies stored on the console with strangers who visit your house. Does Sony not know about the RIAA and how they feel about stuff like this? When the lawyers get done you’re basically going to be able to show people downloaded clips from the Sony store … more money wasted.
And then there’s the LittleBigWorld game demo. People are calling it a platformer that’s “Super Mario Bros. meets Gary’s Mod (for Half-Life 2) but totally awesome!” It’s an interesting concept of in-game physics and world creation that would be fun for about a few hours and then become boring as hell once you realize there’s no point to the game. At least they’re giving it away for free … but again, not the killer app people are claiming it to be.
I figured after reading the news on Kotaku and Gizmodo the comments would have a bunch of people like me talking about how this isn’t really as cool as people are saying … but no … people are busting a nut over this crap. These are the same people who flame Sony every day on the same comment boards.
Why not just make more games people want? Why not make an online gaming system that doesn’t require you to load your virtual world, walk around to find and talk to avatars, decide which game to play, and then launch the game? XBox Live just hit 6 million users … I don’t see Sony coming anywhere near that with what they’ve shown me.
I don’t hate Sony. I enjoyed my PS2 and thought they did a great job of building a strong, multi-genre game library which drew me to it in the first place. It just doesn’t seem like they care anymore. “Who needs games, we have social networking … it’s what kids crave!” I think the XBox Live service is as robust as the majority of gamers will need. You sign in, you can talk to people, you can send messages, you can compare scores, you can join/host games, you can get purchase media and download demos … all with less than three presses of the A button. Sony dropped the ball with the PS2’s multiplayer functionality and this is just moving in the wrong direction.